US Supplies Arms to Ukraine, Irks Russia

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis promised to expand cooperation with Ukraine in the field of defence. He said this at a joint briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

“We have an intention to strengthen our cooperation.” We recently approved the delivery of equipment for $ 175 million, including special equipment that will strengthen the defence capability of Ukraine, “he said.

Mattis promised that Washington will consider the issue of the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. “If we talk about lethal weapons, we are considering this issue,” he said, “I will now return to myself and, based on what I saw, I will inform the country’s leadership about specific things that I will recommend to the implementation of the American side,” – he said.

“We will continue to help in your efforts and in defending the country,” said the Pentagon head, “We support your efforts in reforming the defence sector, which will make the armed forces of Ukraine more effective and better defenders,” Mattis said that the US expects the full implementation of the Ukrainian program for the transfer of the Armed Forces to NATO standards and hopes to continue cooperation in this area. According to him, the United States supports the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine.

Why is President Poroshenko is Happy?

Poroshenko, in turn, responding to a question about whether the question of granting Kiev American lethal weapons was discussed, refrained from commenting. “Of course, we discussed all aspects of our cooperation, including extending our defence capabilities to Ukraine.” Discussing these issues before the final decision calls for silence, I would not like to comment on this situation, “he said.

The president also said that even during his last visit to the US, he agreed with President Donald Trump to support an “active dialogue on ensuring Ukraine’s defence capabilities”. “This applies not only to the supply of lethal weapons but also to the increase in defence capabilities, including electronic warfare, funds that enhance the effectiveness of our military forces in the defense sphere,” Poroshenko said. “I am pleased with the discussion and our discussion as the president of Ukraine, I am satisfied with the progress in this direction as a president,” he concluded.

Ukraine Celebrated Independence Day with a parade with NATO

The military parade on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence was held on Thursday in the centre of Kiev. For the first time, servicemen from NATO countries took part in it. Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak met participants of the parade on the American military Hummer instead of the traditional Soviet car GAZ “Chaika” with an open top.

In total, along the main street of the capital – Khreshchatyk, about 4,500 servicemen marched, of which more than 230 people were representatives of the countries of the North Atlantic alliance, and more than a thousand were participants in a power operation in the Donbass. At the invitation of Ukraine, defence ministers and delegations from nine nations – the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Montenegro, Estonia, Turkey and Moldova – also arrived in Kiev.

This year military equipment did not take part in the celebrations, instead, the Defense Ministry organized an exhibition of military equipment “The Power of the Unconquered” at Khreshchatyk. It exhibits 67 exhibits, including new developments (self-propelled artillery systems, tanks of various modifications, armoured combat vehicles, trucks and ambulances). According to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, some of this equipment after the exhibition will immediately go to the Donbass in the zone of power operation.