MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - Despite members of Congress pushing President Barack Obama to reconsider military aid to Ukraine, there have not yet been orders or sales made, according to the Major General Lawrence Martin, Jr. of the US Air Force.
“Right now, again, we continue to have discussions with Ukraine as they are talking to our government about their requirements,” Martin, who is responsible for facilitating the final sale of Air Force military equipment to foreign governments, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday at the ComDef 2014 conference.
Asked whether any of those sales had come through, Martin said “no. Not yet.”
Within the recent months, President Obama has come under pressure from Republicans in Congress to step up pressure on Russia by providing lethal support to Ukraine.
In recent days, members of his own party have begun urging him to reconsider providing military aid to the government in Kiev. Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee are among the Democrats who have been calling for military aid.
It is likely that the provision of arms to the government in Kiev will disrupt current plans being urged by Russia to de-escalate the violence in Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Martin told RIA Novosti that his agency is responsible for foreign military sales.
“We would be the ones they turned to and say execute it when it would come to military aid,” Martin said.
However, he repeated that from his position, those orders have not yet come through his agency. “We have a cordial relationship with the Ukraine government; we continue to have discussions with them,” he added
Since April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the southeastern regions of Ukraine that refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government after a February coup. The fighting intensified after Donetsk and Luhansk regions proclaimed independence in May.
In July, US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said the government was still undecided on whether to favor Ukraine’s request for lethal weapons to fight independence supporters.
Almost 2,600 people, including the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash, have been killed and more than 6,000 injured since the start of Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine, according to the UN.
Moscow continues to insist on an immediate end to the “punitive operation” in eastern Ukraine.