U.S. envoy calls on Ukraine not to extend martial law

KIEV, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — Kurt Volker, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, has called on Kiev not to extend the martial law in certain regions after its expiration, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency, Volker made the remarks during his meeting with Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy.

Volker, however, stressed that the United States supports Ukraine’s intention to strengthen the combat readiness of its armed forces.

Next year, the United States plans to provide Ukraine with 250 million U.S. dollars of military aid, said Volker, who arrived in Kiev on Tuesday for a two-day visit.

The martial law was introduced in 10 Ukrainian regions, mainly bordering Russia, for 30 days starting from Nov. 26 in the wake of tensions with Russia in the Kerch Strait.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that “martial law does not mean the declaration of war,” but a step toward strengthening Ukraine’s defense.

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