Defense Secretary Nominee Urges US to Supply Lethal Arms to Ukraine
18:30 04.02.2015(updated 21:28 04.02.2015)
Washington should consider sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, Ashton Carter said in his address to the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Defense Secretary nominee Ashton Carter favors sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, according to his Wednesday speech to the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
"I think we need to support Ukrainians in defending themselves. The nature of those arms I can't say right now, because I haven't confirmed with our military leaders or Ukrainian leaders, but I incline in the direction of providing them with arms, including lethal arms," Carter said.
On Tuesday, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said, in an interview on US television, that supplying weapons is not the way to end the Ukrainian crisis.
Earlier in the day, two officials of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic reported discovering NATO ammunition in the conflict-torn region. The reports corroborated previous findings of US-made assault rifles, grenades and communication devices left behind by the retreating Ukrainian military.
The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine began in April 2014, when Kiev-led forces launched a military operation against the region's mostly Russian-speaking independence supporters who opposed Ukraine's new post-coup government.
Kiev has long been calling for lethal military assistance from the United States. Washington has, to date, refused. In December last year, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the United States was keeping its policy of not arming Ukraine with lethal weapons.
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