15:12 Aug. 8, 2016
More and more US politicians, expert community representatives think that a weak Ukraine can provoke Russia to launch further offensive, Ukraine top diplomat says
The issue of the US lethal aid for Ukraine can be considered again after the US presidential elections.
This was told by Ukraine's Ambassador to US Valery Chaly in an interview with RBC-Ukraine. The official said that the decision to provide Ukraine with lethal defence weapons was adopted by the Congress, by both Democrats and Republicans. However, still the White House did not reach a political solution.
Q: Is the issue of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine still on the agenda of the Ukrainian-American relations?
Valeriy Chaly: "Of course, this issue is on agenda. Ukraine itself produces these weapons, and for the last two years, we have changed our priorities regarding what is now necessary to strengthen our army. But all the same - delivering this type of weapons would be a serious signal for Russia as well as demonstrate a clearer US position. We are happy to say that the decision to provide Ukraine with lethal defence weapons was endorsed in the Congress, by both Democrats and Republicans.
I repeat. There is a possibility (which was confirmed) of receiving USD 50 mln for purchasing this type of weapons. But there is no White House political solution. I do not rule out that this issue can be considered again after the US presidential elections. More and more American politicians, expert community representatives are inclined to share the opinion that a weak Ukraine can provoke Russia to launch further offensives. If Ukraine becomes stronger, then, on the contrary, this can lead to a peaceful solution."
Q: What kind of weaponry can it be?
Valeriy Chaly: "We have established direct contacts in the sphere of military cooperation between Ukraine and the United States, there are appropriate tools which help us determine the list of what is required. From what you know - it is anti-tanks systems that will allow (our troops) to rebuff (the enemy) if they attempt to advance further into Ukraine. Also we know about Javelins (FGM-148 Javelin is an American portable missile complex).
It is clear that the issue of military support depends on what the Ukrainian army needs at a certain moment. Currently, we are receiving counterbattery radars. These systems help us not only detect an attack and respond to it, saving lives of our soldiers, but also collect data for the OSCE monitors. Also, we are receiving drones. These are not unmanned fighting vehicles, used by the US troops in Afghanistan, but they make it possible to control and monitor the contact line. In general, I regard the issue of the US lethal aid for Ukraine as a signal, as symbol. Now we need to think strategically and work on joint production of weapons with the help of Americans in Ukraine."
Q: To what extent is the US ready to lobby for Ukraine's accession to NATO?
Valeriy Chaly: "NATO remains a key factor in ensuring security in Europe. Regarding Ukraine's prospects, you know that the Alliance membership depends on the readiness of both parties, and a particular political solution. It is clear that such a decision will be taken by all NATO member states. The US opinion is crucial."