Ukraine calls for military support against pro-Russian separatists

Saturday 16 August 2014 19.55
A separatist leader said that Ukrainian rebels were receiving new military equipment
A separatist leader said that Ukrainian rebels were receiving new military equipment

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has called on NATO and the EU to provide military support for Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Russian separatists.

He said the Western military alliance needed to come up with a new strategy towards Kiev.              

The four-month conflict in eastern Ukraine has reached a critical phase.

A separatist leader said that Ukrainian rebels were receiving new military equipment and troops trained in Russia, and would launch a major counter-offensive against government forces.
              
Mr Klimkin told German radio station Deutschland funk the EU and NATO needed to consider what they could and would do if rules get broken.

He added that this was the case when Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March and was also true of Russia's actions in Donetsk and Luhansk now.
             
Asked if he was appealing to the EU and NATO for military aid, Mr Klimkin said: "Yes of course. We need military aid because if we got such aid, it would be easier for our troops on theg round to act."

              
He said Ukraine faced a tough situation economically and financially so needed help now but would later repay this aid.

Alongside direct aid, the country also needed the EU to help it implement reforms, Mr Klimkin said.
              
He said NATO needed to adopt a new strategy towards Ukraine.

Asked what he hoped would come out a NATO summit planned for September, he said he would like Ukraine to get political support, more aid for its troops, help with reforms and help in areas like "fighting terrorism" and cyber security.
              
But he said there was no question of Ukraine becoming a NATO member at the moment as it lacked consensus at home.
              
He said the danger of a Russian invasion was omnipresent,adding that Ukrainian troops were coming under fire from Russian territory almost daily and Russia was bringing mercenary soldiers and weapons into the country.