Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Ukraine grateful for US weapons, Russia voices outrage

MOSCOW — Ukraine’s president on Saturday thanked the U.S. for its decision to provide his nation with lethal weapons, while Russian diplomats and lawmakers expressed dismay, warning that it will only fuel hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

The angry response from Moscow comes a day after President Donald Trump’s administration approved a plan to provide weapons to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles. Ukraine has long sought the weapons for its fight against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 since April 2014 and strongly welcomed the U.S. move.

“I am grateful for the leadership of President Donald Trump, clear position of all our American friends, and for strong bipartisan support of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Facebook in English. “American weapons in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers are not for offensive (purposes), but for stronger rebuff of the aggressor, protection of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, as well as for effective self-defense. It is also a trans-Atlantic vaccination against the Russian virus of aggression.”

In Moscow, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the U.S. administration’s move has “crossed a line.”

 

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