Ukraine expects U.S. weaponry within "weeks,” raising Russia tensions

President Poroshenko (L) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last year in Washington. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Tensions between the United States and Russia look set to escalate as Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has announced that he expects sophisticated weaponry from the US, including Javelin anti-tank missiles as well as heavy sniper rifles, to start arriving “in a very few weeks”.

Why it matters: The decision in December by the US government to provide Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities” for the conflict in the east of the country against pro-Russian separatists could destabilize the shaky ceasefire that currently exists. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in September that any decision by the US to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine could reignite the conflict.