Ukraine cheers US vote for military aid, Russia outraged

A Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for residents of the Eastern Ukrainian Donetsk region approaches the city of Makiyivka on December 12, 2014Ukraine on Friday welcomed a US bill that would allow Washington to provide lethal military assistance to the embattled country, but Russia expressed outrage at the “openly confrontational” legislation. The bill — passed late on Thursday and due to get final approval in Congress on Friday before being sent to US President Barack Obama — opens the way for up to $350 million (280 million euros’) worth of US military hardware to be sent to Ukraine, which has been fighting an eight-month war against Kremlin-backed separatists in its east. It also threatens fresh sanctions against Russia, whose economy is crumbling under previous rounds of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices. Russia’s foreign ministry said the new US legislation put a “powerful bomb” under US-Russia bilateral ties.

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