US agrees to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine

By Josh Lederman | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Friday, in a long-awaited move that deepens America’s involvement in the military conflict and may further strain relations with Russia.

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The new arms include American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles that Ukraine has long sought to boost its defenses against Russian-backed separatists armed with tanks that have rolled through eastern Ukraine during violence that has killed more than 10,000 since 2014. Previously, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with support equipment and training, and has let private companies sell some small arms like rifles.

The officials describing the plan weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly and demanded anonymity.

The move is likely to become another sore point between Washington and Moscow, as President Donald Trump contends with ongoing questions about whether he’s too hesitant to confront the Kremlin. Ukraine accuses Russia of sending the tanks, and the U.S. says Moscow is arming, training and fighting alongside the separatists.

Trump had been considering the plan for some time after the State Department and the Pentagon signed off earlier this year. President Barack Obama also considered sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, but left office without doing so.

The State Department, responsible for overseeing foreign military sales, would not confirm that anti-tank missiles or other lethal weapons would be sent. But in a statement late Friday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities” to help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty and “deter further aggression.”

“U.S. assistance is entirely defensive in nature, and as we have always said, Ukraine is a sovereign country and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

Michael Flynn: Text of his resignation letter

By The Associated Press

Text of Michael Flynn’s letter resigning as national security adviser, as provided by the White House.

February 13, 2017

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National security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned

Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn resigns

In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.

Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.

Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.

I am tendering my resignation, honored to have …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

…read more

Source:: USA Politics News

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