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MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. The draft National Defense Authorization Act for the 2016 Fiscal Year approved by the US Senate that envisages providing military assistance to Ukraine goes against the Minsk Agreements, Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee first deputy chairman Frants Klintzevich told TASS on Thursday.
On October 7, the US Senate approved the draft on defense spending in 2016 fiscal year that allows the Pentagon to provide $300 million to Kiev in military assistance. Under the bill, Ukrainian military can receive not only intelligence data, but also anti-tank weapons, mortars, grenade launchers, small arms, radars, surveillance systems and so on.
"Of course, the draft law contradicts the letter and the spirit of the Minsk Agreements," Klintzevich said. "In fact, it looks like the US ‘keep in the back pocket’ the military resolution of the Ukrainian crisis," the official noted adding that Washington "pushes Kiev to a military solution." "DPR and LPR [self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics] should be ready to any developments," he added.
Klintzevich said that "the draft bill was approved by the US Congress at the exact moment when the regime of complete ceasefire was established in Donbas, and even Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko confirmed that." "In other words, US continues to insist on its position regardless of the situation in Ukraine’s south-east," he noted. Washington’s position toward the Ukrainian conflict is the same as its policy toward anti-Russian sanctions, the official concluded.
The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.