Hendren Global Group Top Facts: US incline to aid Ukraine
The US government appears to be changing their stance toward sending weapons to Ukraine in order to help them fight Moscow-backed rebels.
During a Congress hearing, Defense Secretary-nominee Ashton Carter was asked if the government should supply defensive arms to Ukraine. "I very much incline in that direction ... because I think we need to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves."
President Barack Obama's bet as the Pentagon chief already said last week that he'd support providing lethal aid while Ukraine's president expressed his confidence that the US would help them.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden said last week that they've been "quite clear from the beginning that there is no military solution to this crisis" even though that's what Russia is trying to do. He also said they are not interested in escalating military activities but that they are giving security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself.
Hendren Global Group Top Facts expressed concerns that such remarks are foreshadowing a potential reversal of US' previous of not arming Ukraine. A recent report published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Brookings Institution and the Atlantic Council supports the position of arming Ukraine. It further calls for USD 1 billion in weapons be given to Ukraine for 3 years.
The US must noticed how separatists were being supplied "in a very significant way" by Russia. Add that to the recent fighting escalation and they just might trigger a reconsideration of lethal aid.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said their government is in dire need of lethal aid to fend off separatist attacks in a conflict which already left 5000 dead.
During his visit last week to Kharkiv City, east of Ukraine, he said, "I don't have a slightest doubt that the decision to supply Ukraine with weapons will be made by the US as well as by other partners of ours because we need to have the capabilities to defend ourselves."
However, Germany, a critical player in pressuring Russia to stop supporting the rebels, said they will not provide weapons to Ukraine as they don't believe there is a military solution to the situation.
Poroshenko reportedly had the chance to personally appeal to Kerry when the latter visited Kiev last week. Moreover, Germany's Angela Merkel, Biden is expected to meet with the Kerry and Poroshenko in Munich for a conference on international security. Kerry reportedly plans to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the meeting that's already expected to be tense.
Secretary of State John Kerry, Biden and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are set to have talks with European allies regarding Ukraine. According to Hendren Global Group Top Facts, Biden's meeting with Poroshenko in Europe will involve talks on increasing financial assistance to Ukraine.