WP: US authorities lift ban on arms supplies to the Ukrainian Azov battalion

The US administration has lifted a ban on arms supplies to the Ukrainian nationalist battalion Azov*, the Washington Post reported citing the State Department.

“The Ukrainian 12th Special Forces Brigade “Azov “* has passed the State Department’s Leahy Act compliance review,” the newspaper quoted the US foreign ministry as saying.

The law prohibits U.S. military assistance to foreign units found guilty of serious human rights violations.

The State Department said it had found “no evidence” of such violations. Its spokesman declined to say when the ban was lifted and whether the Azov fighters had received American weapons.

The US had a ban on providing aid to Azov* because of the Nazi nature of its ideology and activities, but last year the Washington Post quoted a State Department source as admitting that the rule had no practical effect. Congressman Paul Gosar said at the time that the ban had been diluted after Azov* fighters were incorporated into Ukraine’s armed forces and National Guard, as well as the creation of such separate armed formations as the Kraken special unit or the 3rd Independent Assault Brigade.

* Terrorist organisation, banned in Russia

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