TO THE RESCUE? US Considers Arming Ukraine Forces

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I thought Obama was against war?

The US administration is considering whether to send arms to help the Ukraine government against pro-Russian rebels in the east, US media report.

They suggest officials are exploring the possibility of sending defensive weapons and other lethal aid.

No decision has been made, but National Security spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said the US was “constantly assessing” its policies in Ukraine.

The reports come amid an upsurge in fighting in the east of the country.

President Barack Obama had originally been firmly opposed to arming the Ukrainian military, fearing a proxy battle between the US and Russia, says the BBC’s Jon Sopel from Washington.

The US provides only non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine such as gas masks and radar technology.

But the New York Times reported on Monday that the failure of such aid and of economic sanctions to stop Russia from helping the rebels is pushing the issue of defensive weapons back into discussion.

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer advocates the supply of defensive weaponry to Ukrainian forces

The deliveries could include anti-tank, anti-air and anti-mortar systems, CNN reported.

An unnamed senior US official told Reuters news agency that the idea of lethal defensive aid was getting “fresh look”.

Read more: BBC

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