US Authorizes Supply of Lethal Defense Weapons to Ukraine - Ambassador

© AP Photo / Chairman of the Joint ChiefsUS Senate Foreign Relations Committee
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee - Sputnik International
Since the eruption of the crisis in Ukraine, the US has been considering the delivery of lethal weapons to Kiev, however, then President Barack Obama had rejected the idea.

"The US defense budget for 2018 envisions $350 million in aid for Ukraine in terms of security and a significant expansion of its areas. The draft law authorizes the provision of lethal weapons of a defensive nature to our state," according to the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States.

The ambassador has explained that this amount includes funds for the rehabilitation of Ukrainian troops in US medical institutions, as well as training for medical experts.

"For the first time it is being proposed that Ukraine be provided with the following defense means: radars for air defense and water surface surveillance; naval anti-mine means; coastal and coast guard ships," Chaly added.

The US Senate and House Armed Services Committees on Wednesday agreed on a new draft defense budget, which allows for $350 million to be spent on "security assistance to Ukraine, including defensive lethal assistance," which could consist of anti-tank weapons and possibly anti-aircraft arms.

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However, that the legislation restricted half of these funds until the secretary of defense certified that Ukraine had taken substantial action to make defense institutional reforms critical to sustaining capabilities developed using security assistance.

The US has considered providing Ukraine with lethal weapons since the start of the conflict in the country's southeast in 2014. However, the Kremlin has warned that such a decision would fuel the conflict in the country's east, an argument voiced by former US President Barack Obama when he rejected similar proposals.

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