Excess Military Equipment? Kiev, Washington 'Working' on Deal to Supply More US Arms to Ukraine
Russia has repeatedly warned that supplying weapons to Ukraine may escalate the military conflict in the country's eastern Donbass region, a stance that is also echoed by a number of European officials.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova has said that Kiev is "actively working with Washington" to clinch a deal on Ukraine getting so-called "surplus" American military equipment.
In an interview with the Ukrainian news outlet LB.ua, Markarova added that the military hardware includes "unnecessary weapons, which the US is ready to deliver to Ukraine".
According to her, there are several areas in which Washington is cooperating with Kiev within the framework of arms supplies, including "standard assistance provided by the US Congress and additional one that Washington can provide with the help of a relevant presidential decree".
This comes after The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that the Biden administration is considering sending military equipment to Ukraine that was previously allocated for Afghanistan prior to the collapse of the Central Asian country's government in mid-August.
The newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying that additionally, there are stockpiles of US and NATO ammunition in Romania and Bulgaria that could be made available to Ukraine.
At the same time, the insider argued that the White House is hesitant about sending more arms to Ukraine due to concerns it could escalate tensions with Russia and set back diplomatic efforts for stability in the region.
The claims were preceded by the Pentagon confirming that the US sent 30 Javelin anti-tank guided missile systems to Ukraine in late October.
The Department of Defence described the delivery as "part of our ongoing commitment to supporting Ukraine's ability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity".
The statement came amid Western accusations that Russia is deploying troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for "an invasion". Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations, pointing to NATO's increasing military activity near Russia's borders, which it deems a threat to its national security, stressing that it has the right to move forces within its own territory.
Russia Warns Not to Supply Arms to Ukraine
Earlier, Russia admonished for attempts to deliver weaponry to Ukraine, which Moscow said might cause a military conflict in the country's east to flare up.
In 2014, Ukraine initiated a military operation against the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, known together as Donbass, after they unilaterally proclaimed independence following a change of government in Kiev that they considered a coup. The new Ukrainian government blamed the Donbass crisis on Russia, but Moscow denied any involvement in the country's internal conflict.
The Normandy format of negotiations involving Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine was set up in June 2014 to settle the conflict in south-eastern Ukraine. The Minsk agreements, adopted by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine in February 2015, set out a framework for a political resolution of the political standoff.
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