Kiev Requests Additional Military Aid From NATO in East Ukraine Standoff
18:43 26.01.2015(updated 19:35 26.01.2015)
According to the Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Kiev has asked NATO members to provide additional military aid to the country.
BRUSSELS, January 26 (Sputnik) – Ukraine has asked its partners, including NATO members, for additional military assistance in light of the deteriorating security situation in the southeast of the country, the Ukrainian envoy to NATO said Monday.
'We continue to hold bilateral talks with various countries, including NATO members, and in light of the deterioration of the situation on site and the increase of heavy weaponry low from Russia, we have asked [these countries] for additional military aid to Ukraine,' Ihor Dolgov said after a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO commission.
On Sunday, a NATO source told RIA Novosti that an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at Ukraine's request would take place on Monday at ambassadorial level.
The request is said to be based on Article 15 of the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which envisages the possibility for Ukraine and NATO to carry out consultations when Ukraine 'perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security'.
Earlier on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the alliance was using the Ukrainian army to pursue the goal of deterring Russia rather than to protect Ukraine's national interests.
The fighting between government forces and independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine's Donbas region has intensified in recent weeks, driving up the civilian death toll. On January 13, the shelling of a bus in the Donetsk Region town of Volnovakha killed 13 civilians. Last week, at least eight Donetsk residents were killed by rocket fire while waiting at a transit stop for a trolleybus.
Mariupol, a major southeastern Ukraine port city, came under fire on January 24, leaving 30 people dead and over 90 wounded, according to Ukrainian authorities. Kiev and pro-independence forces are blaming each other for the killings.
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