New SACEUR to look into what weapons Ukraine needs for defense
The new Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, is going to find out exactly what types of weapons Ukraine needs for its defense, according to an UNIAN correspondent reporting from a change of command ceremony outside SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) in Mons, Belgium.
Scaparrotti says he is going to look at what weapons Ukraine needs / Photo from UNIAN
"I do believe that we should support Ukraine with what they need to successfully defend their territory and their sovereignty. I’ll take a look at that as SACEUR specifically because I need to assess what weapons are best, what capabilities they can use, what capabilities are complimentary to their forces today," said Scaparrotti, answering the question of an UNIAN correspondent.
Read alsoNew EUCOM commander says no changes in Russia’s behavior in Donbas expectedAs UNIAN reported earlier, during the hearings in the profile Senate Committee, Scaparrotti said he believed Ukraine should be provide with weapons “they need to defend their sovereignty and that they are capable of using.”
At the same time, former EUCOM commander Gen. Ben Hodges said that granting Ukraine Javelin missile systems will entail an increase in Russia’s military presence in Donbas.
On July 29, 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in an interview with The Wall Street Journal said that Ukraine needs 1,240 Javelin man-portable anti-tank missile launchers to deter Russian aggression.
Read alsoEUCOM nominee would consider Javelin in UkraineBefore that, Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States, Valeriy Chaly said that Ukraine expected to receive from the United States at least 1,000 Javelins in case of Russia’s large-scale offensive in Donbas.
Over the past year, the White House has repeatedly stated that the decision on the possible supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine was still pending.
Read alsoU.S. General: If U.S. provides Ukraine with Javelins, Russia to beef up military presence in DonbasWhite House spox Josh Earnest said Washington feared that providing Ukraine with lethal weapons could increase the bloodshed in Donbas.
On September 25, 2015, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said they had not discussed the issue of providing lethal weapons to Ukraine at their meeting at Pentagon.