At a press conference in Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that there is no need to fear an escalation in the Donbas in the event that America provides weapons to Ukraine, as reported by Voice of America.
“Defense weapons do not provoke anyone unless you are the aggressor. And Ukraine is clearly not an aggressor, since military operations are taking place in its territory,” he said.
Luke Coffey, director of the conservative research group Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, believes that the United States is very close to starting to arm Ukraine.
“But the administration must understand that this is not a panacea. Weapons are only part of what is needed to cope with Russian aggression,” the analyst said.
Recently the Senate Committee on Armed Services unanimously adopted a bill on national defense for the 2018 fiscal year which provides for the allocation of $500 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including deadly defensive weapons.