McCain renews calls for Trump to send weapons to Ukraine

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are "actively reviewing" supplying Ukraine with lethal military aid. "The president now has the same opportunity with regard to Ukraine".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday during a visit to Ukraine that Russian Federation is "seeking to redraw global borders by force" and that U.S. sanctions against Russian Federation will remain in place until the government in Moscow changes its behavior.

Mattis, on Thursday during a joint news briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said that he would submit concrete recommendations on future policy on Ukraine to the USA leadership upon his return to the United States.

Mattis also said the Trump administration will not accept Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

While emphasizing Trump had yet to take a decision on the issue, Mattis signaled his personal support for a longstanding Ukrainian request for defensive weapons, which could include anti-tank Javelin missiles and anti-aircaft systems.

"Since the day Ukraine declared its independence on the 24 August 1991 and especially after the Revolution of Dignity, the United States has always supported its struggle to become a truly European country", Trump said, according to Poroshenko's statement. The Agency intends to obtain the approval of the proposal in the White house.

"Despite Russia's denials, we know they are seeking to redraw worldwide borders by force", Mattis said.

Poroshenko for his part said he was pleased with the discussion with the head of the U.S. Department of defense the question of the supply of arms.

Poroshenko earlier in the conference said defending Ukraine does not exclusively rely on lethal weapons but also on "electronic defense", among other capabilities, and how the US has chosen to respond thus far has created a stronger partnership.

"It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression", McCain, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement Wednesday.

  • Jack Mann