21:28 GMT17 January 2021
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    The United States has not ruled out or taken a decision to provide arms to Ukraine, a senior US State Department official said during a conference call on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Late June, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Kiev looks forward to signing agreements on US arms supplies.

    "We neither have ruled out providing such weapons to Ukraine nor have we taken a decision to do so," the official stated. "President Poroshenko’s conversations when he was in DC covered the full range of US-Ukraine security cooperation, so Ukraine’s desires are well known and our position continues that we have not taken a decision to do that."

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States backs the implementation of the Minsk agreement until better options acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine present themselves, a senior State Department official told reporters on Wednesday.

    "We [US] remain committed to that process [the Minsk agreement] and the Normandy format," the official stated. "What Secretary Tillerson was saying is until the better option comes about to which both US and Russia agree to, than Minsk [agreement] is it and we are fully supportive of Minsk."

    In early May, the US Senate approved the draft federal budget until September 30, 2017, in which the country continues to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of at least $410 million, including military support. It is noted that the Pentagon may spend $150 million on "providing assistance, including (military) training, equipment, lethal weapons for defense purposes, logistics assistance," as well as intelligence community assistance for the military and national security forces of Ukraine.

    Russia has repeatedly warned against plans to supply arms to Ukraine, since this step will only lead to an escalation of the conflict in the Donbas. As the Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeatedly stated, the supply of arms to Ukraine from the outside will not contribute to the settlement of the crisis in the Donbass and the implementation of the Minsk accords.

    The majority of European politicians spoke against the supply of arms to Ukraine. For example, former Foreign Minister of Germany and now German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier previously stated that the supply of arms to Ukraine is a very risky and counterproductive way out of the crisis. The chairman of the NATO military committee Gen. Peter Pavel said that he did not see the need for the supply of lethal weapons to Kiev, because it "will only increase the suffering of people."

    Related:

    Poroshenko Expects Deal With US on Arms Supplies to Ukraine Within 2-3 Months
    US Congress Not Planning to Provide Ukraine With Arms Until Year End - Lawmaker
    Ukraine Needs US Arms, but It Might Take Some Time
    Kiev Welcomes US Congress Draft on Arms Supplies to Ukraine
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    weapons, Ukraine, US
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