France will not supply weapons to Ukraine 'at this time'

4th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

France has no plans to supply weapons to Ukraine to tackle the pro-Russian insurgency in the east of the country, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday.

"We have no intention of supplying lethal weapons at this time," Le Drian said, responding to a mounting debate triggered by reports that the United States is considering arming the Ukrainian government.

"Russia's position with respect to its support for the Ukrainian separatists is not acceptable, we say it firmly, and we are continuing sanctions as a result," said Le Drian in Paris, following talks with his Canadian counterpart Rob Nicholson.

"At the same time, we must avoid by all means the continuation of this worsening conflict."

Tentative ceasefires between the Ukrainian and rebel forces have collapsed in the past month, with renewed offensives by the separatists against key communication and transport hubs.

The US government is said to be mulling the possibility of supplying military equipment to help the government defend its positions, raising fears that the standoff between Russia and the West could escalate.

© 2015 AFP

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