MOSCOW — Ukraine’s foreign minister says his country will use U.S.-supplied lethal weapons only for defense.

U.S. officials announced last week that they would be giving Ukraine lethal weapons, including anti-tank missiles. Ukrainian government forces have been fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people.

Russia expressed dismay over the U.S. decision, saying it would only fuel hostilities.

Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian foreign minister, said at a news conference Wednesday in Kiev that the U.S. weapons have “purely defense purposes” and that they would only be used if the separatists provoked government forces.

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