Date
18 August 2017
Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Monday. The two leaders discussed the Ukraine crisis. Photo: Reuters
Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Monday. The two leaders discussed the Ukraine crisis. Photo: Reuters

US may arm Ukraine if diplomacy fails with Russia: Obama

President Barack Obama said the United States will consider arming Ukraine if diplomatic talks and economic sanctions fail to deter Russian-backed separatist aggression.

Obama was speaking at a White House news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying he will give diplomacy a chance before deciding whether to arm the Kiev’s government forces, Reuters reported Tuesday.

“It is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options,” Obama said. “But I have not made a decision about that yet.”

Despite prompting by a German reporter, Obama pointedly declined to lay down a ‘red line’ that, should Putin cross it, would prompt him to authorize weapons for Ukraine, the report said.

In the face of a new offensive by separatists in eastern Ukraine, some of Obama’s top advisors, as well as hawkish US lawmakers, are pressing him to do more to help the Kiev government.

But the administration will wait for the outcome of renewed diplomatic efforts led by Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to resolve the crisis.

Merkel and Hollande are due to meet with Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Belarus on Wednesday.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

CG/RC

President Barack Obama said his administration will consider providing arms to Ukraine if diplomatic talks and economic sanctions fail to deter Russian-backed separatist aggression in the country.

Speaking at a White House news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday, Obama said he will await the outcome of diplomatic talks on Ukraine before deciding whether to arm the Kiev government, Reuters reported.

“It is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options,” Obama said. “But I have not made a decision about that yet.”

Despite prompting by a German reporter, Obama pointedly declined to lay down a ‘red line’ that, should Putin cross it, would prompt him to authorize weapons for Ukraine, the report said.

In the face of a new offensive by separatists in eastern Ukraine, some of Obama’s top advisors, as well as hawkish US lawmakers, are pressing him to do more to help the Kiev government.

But the administration will wait for the outcome of renewed diplomatic efforts led by Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to resolve the crisis.

Merkel and Hollande are due to meet with Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Belarus on Wednesday.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

CG/RC

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe