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Head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church asks US for weapons to fight Donbas militia

February 06, 2015, 10:21 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The White House said additional military assistance to Ukraine would aggravate the bloodshed in that country.
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Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kiev, center, during a news conference on Capitol Hill

Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kiev, center, during a news conference on Capitol Hill

© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON, February 6. /TASS/. Head of unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox Church Filaret asked the US to supply weapons to Kiev for fighting the militia in the country’s south-east. The religious leader, who was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church for the dissent, joined on Thursday a news conference of Ukrainian legislators at the US Congress.

"We are addressing you to observe the promises you have voiced," Filaret said.

Earlier the White House said additional military assistance to Ukraine would aggravate the bloodshed in that country.

On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said Moscow is concerned by Washington’s plans to begin supplies of modern lethal weapons to Kiev. "Taking into account the revanchist plans of the "party of war" in Kiev, this could not only escalate the conflict in the south-east, but also threaten the security of Russia, the territory of which has been shelled several times from the Ukrainian side," he said.

"This decision could significantly damage the Russian-US relations, the more so if Donbas residents will be killed by American weapons," Lukashevich said.

"We warn the US administration also against the plans to deploy to Ukraine the armaments and military equipment that are being withdrawn from Afghanistan as the operation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the American military contingent there has ended," Lukashevich said.

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