MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's statement about expanding defense industry cooperation with the United States as well as potential US deliveries of lethal weapons to Kiev are inappropriate in light of a new ceasefire regime taking effect in Donbass on Friday, Russia's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, Boris Gryzlov, said.
On Thursday, speaking at a joint briefing with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Poroshenko said they had discussed the expansion of defense industry cooperation between the two countries. Mattis also said the United States had been considering deliveries of lethal weapons to Ukraine.
The Russian envoy stressed that Kiev's reiterated desire to acquire lethal weapons "will undoubtedly be perceived in Donbass as a very bad, threatening signal."
On Wednesday, Gryzlov said that the Contact Group had agreed on a ceasefire regime, the so-called "school truce" from August 25 in connection with the beginning of the new academic year in the region.
Ukraine's authorities have been conducting a military operation in the country's eastern regions since April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new government in Kiev. In February 2015, Kiev and the Donbass militias signed a ceasefire agreement but, despite the deal, both sides have been reporting violations of the ceasefire.