Mattis Says Defensive Arms For Ukraine Not Provocative

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Mattis said Russian Federation had not abided by the Minsk ceasefire agreement meant to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine and that the United States would maintain sanctions on Moscow. For example, 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.

"I will go back now having seen the current situation and be able to inform the secretary of state and the president on the specific terms what I recommend for the direction ahead", he added.

Mattis also ended any speculation that the Trump administration would consider Russia's annexation of the Crimea as a fait accompli, saying the United States "will not accept" the peninsula's seizure.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that discussing the question of possible lethal weapons supplies to Ukraine requires "silence".

Ukrainian President Poroshenko said when asked about Russia and the Minsk agreements, "Unfortunately, Russia is not adhering to the letter, much less the spirit of these worldwide commitments". The two departments are seeking the approval of the White House on the issue, according to the report.

Mattis also said the Trump administration will not accept Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Proponents of sending arms say it will give Ukrainian troops a decisive edge over the Russian-backed separatists.

Meanwhile, the USA continues to train with Ukraine's soldiers.

Pentagon chief James Mattis said that the U.S. is studying the possibility of supplying lethal weapons to Kiev. Secretary Mattis expressed his support for the Georgian government and its ongoing defense reforms, the Defense Ministry reported. John McCain, chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, reiterated his support for weapons transfers on Wednesday.

Poroshenko recalled that during his visit to the United States the sides had agreed on an active dialogue on ensuring the defense capabilities of Ukraine.

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