Linda Kinstler: Mattis's mission to reassure Ukraine

Linda Kinstler: Mattis's mission to reassure Ukraine

Linda Kinstler: Mattis's mission to reassure Ukraine

"We do not, and we will not, accept Russia's seizure of Crimea and despite Russia's denials, we know they are seeking to redraw worldwide borders by force, undermining the sovereign and free nations of Europe", he said during the joint press conference with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev.

Critics fear sending sophisticated US arms to a low-level conflict on Russia's border would worsen Washington's already perilous relations with Moscow.

Mattis spoke during a visit to Kiev.

The Iranian president also wished health and success for Poroshenko and prosperity and glory for the people of the European country.

Mattis noted the United States has provided Ukraine with $750 million in non-lethal assistance since 2015, following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Mattis declined to get into specifics of what he's recommended to Trump, saying he owes the president "some confidentiality on that".

"Having discussions about lethal weapons would increase the price if Russian Federation made the decision to attack my troops and my territory", he said. "And that would be strong motivation to stop them from the very irresponsible step".

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Supplying weapons "will be a huge boost of support to Ukraine", said Michael Carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the region.

At the same time, he believes that the provision by the United States of defensive weapons to Ukraine could have been a strong motivation for Russian Federation to stop its aggression. McCain said in a statement. "No decisions have been made".

Today, Ukraine also celebrated Independence Day as thousands of soldiers and weapons paraded through Kiev.

For the first time, U.S. Army soldiers and a color guard participated in the annual parade.

While the White House has not yet issued any public record of the exchange, Pentagon chief Mattis's presence at Kiev's military parade was much more openly symbolic. "It's not easy making a sovereign state, especially right now with the way Russian Federation has been violating territorial integrity".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday used the occasion of Ukrainian independence day to slam Moscow for its role in the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.

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