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U.S. may increase defense aid to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression - CNN

Washington is considering expanding security assistance to Ukraine and sending military advisers to prevent a new invasion on the part of Russia.

That’s according to CNN citing its own sources, Ukrinform reports.

These include the transfer to Ukraine of Javelin anti-tank and anti-armor systems, as well as mortars. Stinger air defense missiles are also under consideration, as well as part of the military equipment previously intended for Afghanistan, including Mi-17 helicopters.

Read also: Budanov comments on EU's intention to open military center in Ukraine

Asked by reporters about Russia's military activity, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration "had extensive interactions with our European allies and partners in recent weeks, including with Ukraine.” She added that the United States has “also had held discussions with Russian officials about Ukraine and US-Russian relations in general .”

It is noted that the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, also spoke by phone with the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi on Monday.

"U.S. officials have also shared with senior Ukrainian officials evidence that Russia, through the FSB -- Russia's successor to the KGB -- is engaging in destabilizing activities inside Ukraine to foment dissent against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's administration," the report said.

Meanwhile, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have added proposed amendments to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would address Russia's latest provocations, but they have yet to sign off on a final version.

Read also: Danilov on build-up of Russian forces: Kremlin trying to raise the stakes

An amendment proposed by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez, reviewed by CNN, says that "substantial new sanctions should be imposed" by President Joe Biden against senior Kremlin officials -- including Russian President Vladimir Putin -- in the event of a Russian military escalation against Ukraine. The amendment also calls for additional sanctions on the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which Ukraine has been pushing for.

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