US Considering Arms Supplies to Ukraine Government Forces, NYT Says

World » UKRAINE | February 2, 2015, Monday // 16:57
Bulgaria: US Considering Arms Supplies to Ukraine Government Forces, NYT Says Ukrainian servicemen take position in the village Peski near of Donetsk, Ukraine, 31 January 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES

The question of providing direct military assistance to Kiev government forces has drawn increased attention from the US administration and military officials after pro-Russian rebels recently stepped up their attacks in eastern Ukraine, according to a new article published in the New York Times.

While President Obama has made no decisions on providing defensive weapons and equipment to Ukraine government forces, NATO's military commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove is said now to be backing such assistance, according to the article which is attributing the information to unnamed US officials.

In addition, “an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position”.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who plans to visit Kiev on Thursday, is reportedly open to new discussions about providing lethal assistance, as is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, who has resisted proposals to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine’s beleaguered government forces in recent months, was now prepared to reconsider the issue, according to an official familiar with her views, the NYT article said.

It also said a new report prepared by eight former senior American officials is urging the US to send USD 3B in defensive arms and equipment to Ukraine, including anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire.

“The West needs to bolster deterrence in Ukraine by raising the risks and costs to Russia of any renewed major offensive,” says the report entitled “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do”.

“That requires providing direct military assistance — in far larger amounts than provided to date and including lethal defensive arms.”

“Other NATO members should provide military assistance as well. Of particular use to the Ukrainian military would be equipment and weapons from NATO members who operate former Soviet equipment compatible with the arms currently in the Ukrainian inventory,” the report says.

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Tags: US, Obama, military aid, military assistance, Ukraine, Russia, rebels, Kiev, government
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