New truce announced in Ukraine, Mattis does not rule out weapon supplies

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 28.8.2017 10:24

On Friday 25 August, a new ceasefire between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and pro-Russian separatists came into force in eastern Ukraine. According to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, up to 3,000 Russian soldiers are deployed in the area, which Russia rejects.

The day before this, US Defense Secretary James Mattis discussed expanding the US' support for Ukraine’s government in the fight against separatists, who are being armed by Russia, with Poroshenko. Poroshenko proposed the possibility of deploying UN peacekeeping units in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. According to Poroshenko, the presence of international troops would create the security conditions necessary for peace negotiations. Mattis emphasized that the US will not accept the Russian annexation of Crimea and its sanctions will remain until Russia returns Crimea and stops supporting the separatists. He was also inclined to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons including Javelin portable anti-tank launchers and anti-aircraft systems. Russian officials and separatist leaders called negotiating an arms delivery a provocation and threat. However, providing defensive weapons could strengthen the pressure on Russia to comply with the Minsk Protocol and thus increase the chances of successful peace negotiations.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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