Leonid Kalashnikov, chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, said that if the United States passes a bill to allocate military assistance to Ukraine, it "could make" Russia think about arms supplies to the territories of the Donbas which are not under Kyiv’s control, reports Interfax.
"I believe that $300 million in the U.S. military assistance to Ukraine opens the door for us to help the people against whom they want to use these weapons - "DPR" and "LPR." In such conditions, we also have the right to supply weapons to these republics officially," Kalashnikov said.
At the same time, he calls the supply of arms to the militants a "forced step."
"To help not with troops, but at least with weapons ... And to close this topic, let’s supply weapons to "DPR" and "LPR" - suggested Kalashnikov.
In June, the U.S. Congress approved a package of assistance to Ukraine worth $250 million under the program " Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative." On July 30, the senators from the Democratic and Republican parties agreed to initiate a bill to provide Ukraine with annual support of $300 million in military and other aid.
In 2015, one of the pro-Russian militants’ leaders Igor Girkin (Strelkov) said that without the support of the Russian Federation, Ukraine will be able to retake the Donbass in three days. In the same year, Bloomberg agency wrote that Russia transferred at least 2.5 billion rubles ($34 million) monthly to the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic alone.
Since 2014, Russia has been sending so-called "humanitarian convoys" to the war zone in the Donbas. The cargos do not pass the customs and border services of Ukraine. The Russians do not allow to check these trucks.