Ukraine president hopes to secure defensive weapons from Western allies

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a visit to an exhibition of Ukrainian military vehicles, on the eve of the Independence Day, in Kiev, Ukraine August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday said he hoped to complete talks with Western allies on the supply of defensive weapons, as he warned that upcoming Russia-Belarus military exercises could be cover for an invasion of Ukraine.

“The creation of new strike groups of Russian troops for an invasion of Ukrainian territory can’t be ruled out,” he said in a speech to parliament.

“I hope that we will successfully complete negotiations with our Western partners on supplies of defensive weapons,” he said.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Matthias Williams