U.S. says to Russia: Defensive weapons are only worrying if you are an aggressor

The United States is proud to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s aggression.

U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE James S. Gilmore said this at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“As part of its larger disinformation campaign, Russia’s Ambassador has mentioned on multiple occasions the provision of U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. The Ambassador has attempted to cast this military aid in a negative light, alleging that the United States, and not Russia, is responsible for the continuation of this conflict. Russia has put particular emphasis on the provision of Javelin anti-tank missiles. The purpose of these missiles, as their description implies, is to destroy or demobilize armored vehicles, such as tanks; in other words, they are defensive weapons. As former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis once said, “defensive weapons are only worrying if you are an aggressor”," Gilmore said.

The United States has provided nearly $2 billion in security assistance since Moscow initiated this conflict in 2014. Besides providing defensive Javelin missiles, the United States has also provided the Ukrainian government with HumVees, patrol boats, and counter-artillery radar systems, among other equipment, and helped fund the training of Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemembers.

"None of this is a secret; in fact, we are proud to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s aggression, and we are transparent in making our support known," Gilmore stressed.

Just last month, the American Embassy in Kyiv announced a delivery of $60 million of weapons and other equipment, and the U.S. Congress approved a $250 million aid package to Ukraine this year.

"This military aid is a clear indication of our unwavering support of Ukraine’s sovereignty. As a key strategic partner in Europe, the United States stands by Ukraine in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity from a powerful and, regrettably, adversarial, neighbor," the ambassador said.

As Ukrinform reported, on July 30, a group of U.S. Senators introduced the Ukraine Security Partnership Act to provide security assistance and strategic support to Ukraine. The aid amounts to USD 300 million per year.

In turn, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration supported an increase in the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine in the defense budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

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