“It will be wonderful, if the peace accords signed in Minsk are fulfilled, thus resulting in heavy weapons being pulled out from our eastern border,” said Yegor Bozhok. “However, if the situation continues to deteriorate, we will insist that our Western partners provide us with complex defensive weaponry”.
The subject of lethal weapons delivery to Ukraine has been a very sensitive one for both Western countries and Russia, with the latter warning of a possible escalation of the conflict and threat to its security posed if weapons start being delivered to Ukraine.
“The weapons we are asking for will be used for our protection only. We are not going to attack anyone,” said Yegor Bozhok.
The list of weapons Ukraine is seeking to get from Western countries includes, among other things, anti-artillery and anti-mortar systems, as well as anti-tank complexes.
According to Bozhok, Ukraine badly needs to restore control over its eastern border which is currently being held by separatists. 8 thousand people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict ever since it broke out.
Under the Minsk accords, all weapons are to be pulled out from the front line by the end of the year. However, Russia has already hinted that the deadline might be extended. President Poroshenko replied to that by insisting that cease fire and de-escalation of the conflict must be put in place by the end of 2015.