: :inin Kyiv (EET)

McCain ”optimistic” over prospects of U.S. lethal aid to Ukraine

Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain at a joint press conference with Sen. Ron Johnson in Brussels has expressed optimism regarding possible provision of lethal aid to Ukraine by Donald Trump`s administration, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

”Obviously, for many years, I have approved of at least the modalities of Ukraine`s entry into NATO. I would say, the first priority for Ukraine and the United States is to give Ukraine lethal weapons, defensive weapons with which to defend themselves, such as Javelin, counterbattery radar, and other capabilities,” McCain said

Answering an UNIAN reporter’s question on the time frame of lethal aid provision, McCain expressed hope that the current U.S. administration could implement such decision as at least some officials are inclined to do so.

”I cannot predict that result but I`m optimistic because I have to be optimistic, because Vladimir Putin has recently stepped up their military activities in eastern Ukraine, as we know. And he will continue to do that as long as he thinks he could get away with it,” McCain said.

”At least we owe these people the ability to defend their sovereign nation which has been invaded by the so-called `separatists,` and we know who they are,” the U.S. Senator said.

Commenting on the violent death of a lawyer in Magnitsky case in Moscow and the latest assassination of Russia’s exiled former MP Voronenkov, McCain said that ”Vladimir Putin is behaving with impunity, like the thug and gangster that he is.”

Earlier, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in July 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine needed 1,240 anti-tank Javelin missiles to deter Russian aggression, noting that it was a ”fair” request.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaly earlier said Ukraine expected to receive at least 1,000 Javelins in case of Russia`s full-scale offensive in Donbas.


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