Donetsk, Aug 24 - DAN. Kiev will begin a new phase of confrontation in Donbass once it receives lethal weapons from the United States, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko said on Thursday as he replied a Donetsk News Agency question.

“As soon as Ukraine gets the weapons, Ukrainian army will unleash fighting the next day,” Zakharchenko said in comments on U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis’ statement on Washington’s considering lethal weapons supplies to Ukraine.

DPR forces are ready to ensure the Republic’s Security in case this scenario unfolds, Zakharchenko added.

Mattis said after talks with Ukrainian leader Petr Poroshenko earlier on Thursday that the United States was interested in Kiev’s strengthening its defence capability. He noted that supplies of hardware worth 175 million dollars had recently been approved, including special equipment and that the possibility to supply lethal weapons was under consideration.*jk