U.S. could send arms to Ukraine to change Russia's approach, envoy says

U.S. could send arms to Ukraine to change Russia's approach, envoy says

U.S. could send arms to Ukraine to change Russia's approach, envoy says

The special representative of the U.S. state Department on Ukraine Kurt Volker said that Washington is "actively considering" the opportunity to send weapons to Kiev.

In a four-way phone conversation involving leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko called for Russian president Vladimir Putin to halt arms supplies to rebels.

Fresh from his first official tour in his new role, during which he claimed to be "astonished" with the "hot war" he had seen in the east, Kurt Volker said in an interview on Tuesday that arming Ukrainian troops could shift Moscow's tactic but would not be provocative.

Russian Federation has warned Washington against providing lethal weapons to Kiev.

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"The Russian Federation is at liberty to change the configuration of its armed forces on its territory however much it considers appropriate", a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in response on Monday.

Most of the areas which are now part of Ukraine were referred to as Malorossiya, or Little Russia, when they were part of the Russian Empire.

Walker was in Ukraine from 21 to 24 July.

Ukrainian servicemen talk in the streets of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, on February 5, 2017.

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Last week, rebel chief Alexander Zakharchenko said he wanted to establish a new state called Malorossiya, or "Little Russia".

"This is not a frozen conflict, this is a hot war, and it's an immediate crisis that we all need to address as quickly as possible", said Mr. Volker, who was only appointed as the U.S. representative to the Ukraine on July 7.

The offices of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, did not immediately comment on the talks, but Mr Poroshenko's administration said they rejected "any statements that undermine Ukraine's territorial integrity, particularly as regards the establishment of the so-called Malorossiya". Both sides have blamed each other for breaching a ceasefire which was agreed in 2015. The fighting has displaced more than 1.6 million people.

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