A number of important US ministers will visit Ukraine in the next two to three months and Kiev looks forward to signing agreements on US arms supplies, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday.
Poroshenko added he expected the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Kiev in the near future.
“We are waiting for visits of high-ranking US officials in the near future, two to three months, where agreements will be signed, first of all, what interests me, regarding defense cooperation, regarding the supply of US arms, cooperation in the defense industry, economic and energy cooperation,” Poroshenko said in Washington at a briefing on the results of his visit to the United States, which was broadcast by the 112 Ukraine television channel.
In early May, the US Senate approved the draft federal budget until September 30, 2017, in which the country continues to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of at least $410 million, including military support. It is noted that the Pentagon may spend $150 million on “providing assistance, including (military) training, equipment, lethal weapons for defense purposes, logistics assistance,” as well as intelligence community assistance for the military and national security forces of Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly warned against plans to supply arms to Ukraine, since this step will only lead to an escalation of the conflict in the Donbas. As the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeatedly stated, the supply of arms to Ukraine from the outside will not contribute to the settlement of the crisis in the Donbas and the implementation of the Minsk accords.
The majority of European politicians spoke against the supply of arms to Ukraine. For example, former Foreign Minister of Germany and now German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier previously stated that the supply of arms to Ukraine is a very risky and counterproductive way out of the crisis. The chairman of the NATO military committee Gen. Peter Pavel said that he did not see the need for the supply of lethal weapons to Kiev, because it “will only increase the suffering of people.”