World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior aide to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said on Sunday that Kiev had agreed at the NATO summit in Wales on the provision of weapons and military advisers from five NATO member states, but four of the five swiftly denied any such deal had been reached.
NATO officials have previously said the alliance will not send arms to non-member Ukraine, but have also said individual allies may do so if they wish. A NATO official contacted by Reuters on Sunday on the Lytsenko comment reiterated this policy.
"At the NATO summit agreements were reached on the provision of military advisers and supplies of modern armaments from the United States, France, Italy, Poland and Norway," Poroshenko aide Yuri Lytsenko said on his Facebook page.
Lytsenko gave no further details. He may have made his comment for domestic political reasons to highlight the degree of NATO commitment to Ukraine and to its pro-Western president.
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied that the United States had made such a pledge. The official told Reuters, "No U.S. offer of lethal assistance has been made to Ukraine."
"This news is incorrect. Italy, along with other EU and NATO countries, is preparing a package of non-lethal military aid such as bullet-proof vests and helmets for Ukraine," an Italian defence ministry official told Reuters.
Norwegian Defence Ministry spokesman Lars Gjemble, speaking to the NTB news agency, said, "We're participating with staff officers in two military exercises in Ukraine, but it's not correct that we're delivering weapons to Ukraine."
NATO officials have said the alliance will not send weapons to Ukraine, which is not a member state, but they have also said individual allies may choose to do so.Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2014, 22:21