RAISING THE STAKES

U.S. Agrees to Provide Lethal Weapons to Ukraine

President Trump has signed off on a decision to send lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian-backed separatists in the country’s war-torn east, U.S. officials said late Friday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The weapons will reportedly include American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles that Ukraine’s military has long been pushing for, deepening U.S. involvement in the long-running conflict with Russia in the country’s east. U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Congress has already been notified of the decision, according to the report. The decision, which had already gotten approval from the State Department and Pentagon earlier this year, comes after fighting intensified in eastern Ukraine and Russia triggered fears of further escalation by withdrawing from a ceasefire-monitoring group covering the conflict. A top Russian diplomat slammed the move on Saturday, saying lethal aid from the U.S. “raises the danger of derailing the process of peaceful settlement in Ukraine.”