Putin Says West Already Delivering Weapons to Kiev

© Sputnik / Mikhail Klementyev / Go to the mediabankVladimir Putin claimed that the weapons to Kiev are already being supplied by the West.
Vladimir Putin claimed that the weapons to Kiev are already being supplied by the West. - Sputnik International
Russian President claims that the weapons to Kiev are already being supplied by the West.

BUDAPEST (Sputnik) — The West is already supplying weaponry to Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin said when asked about Russia's possible reaction to arms deliveries discussed by the West.

Ukrainian army soldiers perform a weapons exercise at a training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 - Sputnik International
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"According to our information, the arms are already being delivered," Putin said at a press conference Tuesday after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The Russian President mentioned, however, that there is nonetheless a significant reduction in military activity in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas), where Kiev forces have been fighting against independence supporters since last spring.

"Regarding the hostilities [in Donbas], we [Russia] generally mark a significant, and I want to stress that, reduction of military activity there," Putin said.

The Russian President added that the sooner the suspension of hostilities and withdrawal of artillery is implemented in Donbas, the sooner the Ukrainian conflict will be settled.

Last week, a ceasefire agreement was reached between Ukraine's conflicting sides following 16-hour talks between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in Minsk. The previous ceasefire agreement, signed by the Contact Group on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital in September, 2014, failed to hold.

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride on armoured personnel carriers (APC) near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 12, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Also in September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the US Congress for lethal aid, however, US President Barack Obama refused to grant the request, although the United States has been providing Ukraine with non-lethal assistance.

Meanwhile, a number of European countries, including Germany, have rejected lethal aid to Ukraine saying that an influx of weapons into the conflict-torn country would not help solve the ongoing crisis, which has claimed the lives of over 5,600 people, according to the latest UN estimates.

France, Italy, Spain and Finland have all rejected providing Ukraine with lethal assistance. Russia has warned that arms deliveries to Kiev that the US Congress has been calling for could lead to a sharp increase in violence in Donbas, where fighting intensified at the start of 2015.

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