US considering sending arms for Ukraine against Russia

25 Jul 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Siripriya

The US is actively considering whether to arm Ukraine with "defensive weapons" in its fight against Russian-backed rebels, according to the new US special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker.

Volker said such a move wouldn't be provocative and could change Russia's approach towards Ukraine.

This comes a week after the US State Department urged warring parties to observe the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

In context: US involvement in Ukraine crisis

12 Feb 2015Ceasefire agreed in Ukraine

On February 12, 2015, Russia and Ukraine signed a ceasefire in Belarus over the disputed Crimean territory in Ukraine.

The ceasefire would come into force from midnight 15th February.

The talks were also attended by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's president Francois Hollande.

Notwithstanding the ongoing talks, Russia launched military exercises in 12 regions of Ukraine.

25 Jul 2017US considering sending arms for Ukraine against Russia

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Statement"Defensive weapons" may be sent to Ukraine

"Defensive weapons, ones that would allow Ukraine to defend itself, and to take out tanks for example" would help stop Russia from threatening Ukraine, Volker told the BBC.

He said a new strategic dialogue with Russia would be required to establish peace in eastern Ukraine.

In February 2015, a fragile ceasefire was agreed in Minsk but its terms remain far from being fulfilled.

Flare-upFresh fighting erupts in eastern Ukraine

Last week, five Ukrainian troops were killed in heavy shelling just north of rebel-held Donetsk.

Three Ukrainian soldiers were also killed in a mine explosion.

The US State Department called the killings "the deadliest one-day period in 2017" in the Ukraine conflict.

It also blamed "Russian-led" rebels for the uptick in fighting.