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US, EU cover military aid to Kiev with calls for peace - analysts

US and EU appeals to stop fighting in eastern Ukraine may be a smokescreen for sending military aid to Kiev, Russian defense analysts told ITAR-TASS.

US President Barack Obama called Vladimir Putin on August 1 to emphasise the importance of a diplomatic solution of the Ukrainian crisis. However, on August 2 Washington announced its plans to spend 19 million US dollars to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian National Guard.

On July 21, Ukrainian presidential advisor Yuri Lutsenko said that the European Union had lifted an embargo on the supplies of high-precision weapons to Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry has slammed the move as "contradicting the EU regulations of military equipment and technology exports."

"Appeals of US and EU leaders for ceasefire in eastern Ukraine are just rhetorics. Washington and Brussels are actually providing military aid to Kiev authorities to let them finish the so-called counter-terrorist operation and suppress militia in the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics," military expert Colonel General Vladimir Yesin told ITAR-TASS.

"Along with military assistance to Kiev, US and EU politicians turn a blind eye to the use of prohibited weapons, such as phosphorus bombs and ballistic missiles, by Ukrainian army and National Guard," he said adding that NATO confirmed the use of ballistic missiles against militia in eastern Ukraine.

Yesin quoted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay as saying that the UN had no proof of Russia supplying weapons to militia in eastern Ukraine. "Under US pressure the European Union has decided to ignore this statement and keeps accusing Russia of escalating the conflict," he said.

"Washington seeks to punish Russia for the extension of economic ties with EU states and China in the last few years. Meanwhile, Washington has Brussels on a leash, although turning Ukraine into a zone of American interests and curtailing co-operation with Russia will give the EU no economic and political benefits," Yesin said.

"Obviously, the EU understands this as its sanctions have been imposed on Russia for the three months and may be lifted by the end of the year," the analyst added.

Deputy chief of the Institute of US and Canadian Studies Major General Pavel Zolotarev told ITAR-TASS that US and EU appeals for ceasefire in eastern Ukraine were "absolutely sincere given that it would mean President Petro Poroshenko's victory and militia's surrender."

He also said that "Ukrainian army's use of ballistic missiles against civilians was outrageous," while the EU has proposed to solve this problem by supplying less destructive high-precision weapons to Kiev.

"Not only Ukraine, but also the European Union as a whole happen to be in the scope of American interests. The US is twisting EU's arm and the earlier Brussels realises disadvantages of such geopolitical scenario the better," Zolotarev added.

[Source: By Tamara Zamyatina, Itar Tass, Moscow, 04Aug14]

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