Ukraine defense minister: NATO weapons deliveries underway

NATO countries have begun delivering weapons to Ukraine to help its forces fight Russian-backed separatists, Ukraine’s defense minister said Sunday, according to Reuters

"We reached agreements in closed talks, without media, about ... those weapons that we currently need," said Valery Heletey, who said Ukraine needs weapons "that could stop Putin."

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Heletey declined to identify the countries that are sending Ukraine the weapons.

"I have no right to disclose any specific country we reached that agreement with. But the fact is that those weapons are already on the way to us - that's absolutely true, I can officially tell you," he said.

He said he had discussed the transfer of arms at bilateral meetings at the recent NATO summit in Wales.  

The U.S. has sent aid to Ukraine, but President Obama has not authorized lethal assistance. Some lawmakers have called on Obama to send Ukraine arms to bolster its military against Russian aggression.

On Friday, the Obama administration, in conjunction with the European Union, stepped up sanctions against Russia’s energy sector.