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US Republicans propose sending military aid to Ukraine

Published time: March 24, 2014 01:55
 Ukrainian soldiers take part in a military drill, not far from the small city of Goncharovskoye, some 150 km from Kiev, on March 14, 2014 (AFP Photo / Sergey Supinsky)

Ukrainian soldiers take part in a military drill, not far from the small city of Goncharovskoye, some 150 km from Kiev, on March 14, 2014 (AFP Photo / Sergey Supinsky)

US Congress Republicans are proposing to send military equipment to Ukraine, citing reports that Russian troops are amassing near the border with eastern Ukraine – an allegation that Russia has denied.

"You can do non-combatant military aid in a way that allows them (Ukraine) to defend themselves," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said during an interview on NBC's ‘Meet the Press.’

Other things suggested to be sent include medical supplies, radio equipment, and unspecified "defensive posture weapons systems."

Rogers, a Michigan Republican, clarified that he does not want US troops to confront Russia.

Following the Crimean referendum last week, sanctions have been introduced against Russia by the West and its allies.

The most recent alleged claims include a statement by Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen Philip Breedlove that Russia is moving more troops to the eastern border with Ukraine and that NATO is concerned about Moldova's Trans-Dniester region, which had earlier voiced willingness to hold a referendum.

In response to allegations, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov cleared up the situation, saying that Russia is observing all international agreements on troop limits in regions bordering Ukraine, adding that foreign missions’ inspections can confirm that.

“By the way this issue has been regularly raised during the last month in telephone conversations between Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu, and his foreign counterparts, including US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and even acting Ukrainian Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh,” Antonov said.

Shoigu has, in a very transparent manner, informed all of them about the real situation on the Russia-Ukraine border. He also stressed that Russia has no intention to concentrate troops there, Antonov said.

Also, following recent probes by foreign missions in Russia of Ukraine’s bordering regions, foreign inspectors came to the conclusion that "Russian Armed Forces are not undertaking any undeclared military activity that would threaten the security of neighboring countries," Antonov added.

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