Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Obama: "I want to, I would love to, I am all for it, I am all itching so bad, but my "Mommy", the Bundes-Chancellor won't let me..." - Lethal aid to Ukraine, Obama and Merkel

Lethal aid to Ukraine, Obama and Merkel 


or Obama's exercise in outsourcing the Ukranian Freedom: 



"И хочется и колется, да моя "Мамка" (Бундес-Канцлер) не велит..."

Obama: "I want to, I would love to, I am all for it, I am all itching so bad, but my "Mommy", the Bundes-Chancellor won't let me..."

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"U.S. officials say the engagement is limited to areas where Moscow and the West have shared interests. Outreach to Putin on such matters, officials argue, should not be seen as a sign that the West has accepted the status quo in Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists continue to stoke instability. 
...
Some analysts say the West risks sending mixed signals to Ukraine, where the government has been pushing for more support. Matthew Rojanksy, a Wilson Center expert on the former Soviet states, said there is "growing disappointment" in Ukraine about what officials there see as the West's "pale commitment" to protecting its sovereignty.
"They are all deeply worried that the United States will throw them under the bus to make a grand bargain with Putin..."
When Obama meets with European leaders at next week's Group of Seven summit in Germany, he is expected to press them to renew sanctions set to expire this summer.
...the Russian leader may start to think he can simply wait out the U.S. and Europe's attention span.
"We're really stuck," she said. "Mr. Putin is not going to come to his senses. This is a long-term challenge."
Putin getting left out of G-7 meeting, but not much else
"Managed crisis in Ukraine
Washington has faced its own obstacles convincing the EU to support more severe sanctions against Russia. Berlin has expressed concern that if sanctions go too far, the resulting destabilization in Russia could have a boomerang effect on the EU.
Though there's a shaky ceasefire in Ukraine, Washington hawks are lobbying the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to Kyiv. The US is already training Ukrainian troops for the fight against pro-Russian separatists. But the German government adamantly opposes Western military involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
“Since Merkel visited Washington in early February, there has been a compromise to try to manage the situation at the moment with the means available at the moment, which means not yet sending lethal weapons to Ukraine,” Cornelius Adebahr, an expert on US-EU relations with Carnegie Europe, told DW."

US faces Europe in disarray at G7 summit | Germany | DW.DE


Putin getting left out of G-7 meeting, but not much else 
Stars and Stripes
Putin getting left out of G-7 meeting, but not much else
WASHINGTON — Russia's Vladimir Putin won't be on the guest list when President Barack Obama and other world leaders assemble in Germany next week, as part of the punishment for alleged Kremlin-supported aggression in Ukraine.
Yet the Russian president remains a central player in international affairs, including the U.S.-led nuclear talks with Iran, even with the pledge by Western leaders to try to isolate Putin while the crisis in Ukraine persists.
Just this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Moscow for talks with Putin and Secretary of State John Kerry went to Sochi to confer with him. Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke by telephone in recent days and agreed to resume talks aimed at ending Syria's civil war, where Putin's cooperation also is crucial.
U.S. officials say the engagement is limited to areas where Moscow and the West have shared interests. Outreach to Putin on such matters, officials argue, should not be seen as a sign that the West has accepted the status quo in Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists continue to stoke instability.
"It makes sense to cooperate where there is a clear mutual interest as long as you're not being asked to back off matters of principle that matter to the security and well-being of your country and your allies and your friends," Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Some analysts say the West risks sending mixed signals to Ukraine, where the government has been pushing for more support. Matthew Rojanksy, a Wilson Center expert on the former Soviet states, said there is "growing disappointment" in Ukraine about what officials there see as the West's "pale commitment" to protecting its sovereignty.
"They are all deeply worried that the United States will throw them under the bus to make a grand bargain with Putin," Rojanksy wrote in an email from Kiev, where he was meeting with government officials and civil society groups.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalated last year when the Kremlin-backed president in Kiev fled amid protests. Pro-Russian separatists moved to take over the strategically important Crimean Peninsula, which Russia later annexed.
The West doesn't recognize that move. But the U.S. and Europe largely have given up on Russia's returning the area to Ukraine. Instead, the West has focused on Moscow's threatening moves in eastern Ukraine, the site of months of clashes between government forces and rebels that Kiev says are backed by Moscow. A fragile cease-fire agreed to in February has been violated repeatedly.
The West wielded the threat of diplomatic isolation as a punishment for Russia based in part on the belief that Putin values being seen as a big global player. He has tried to use the West's actions to bolster Russian nationalism and his own popularity at home.
On Thursday, Putin suggested that the U.S. corruption investigation into soccer's governing body was part of an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from Russia. He also accused the U.S. of seeking to "illegally persecute" people.
The West's clearest pressure point is the Russian economy. The ruble has stabilized after a dramatic freefall last year that was attributed to both falling oil prices and the West's economic penalties. Still, Russia's economy remains shaky.
It appears unlikely, however, that the U.S. and Europe will toughen sanctions without a major increase in Russian aggression. European nations with strong financial ties with Russia fear the sanctions could damage their own economies.
When Obama meets with European leaders at next week's Group of Seven summit in Germany, he is expected to press them to renew sanctions set to expire this summer. Russia was invited to join the G-7, a bloc of leading industrial nations, in 1998 and remained a member of what was then called the G-8 until last year when the original members suspended its participation in retaliation for its actions in Ukraine.
Heather Conley, a Europe expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that one of the risks for the West in deepening engagement with Putin while the crisis in Ukraine continues is that the Russian leader may start to think he can simply wait out the U.S. and Europe's attention span.
"We're really stuck," she said. "Mr. Putin is not going to come to his senses. This is a long-term challenge."

Former NATO chief: The West should consider arming Ukraine

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NATO allies should be prepared to arm Ukraine's military if Russia continues to destabilize its western neighbor, says Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the man who once headed the world's most powerful military alliance.
“If Russia continues to destabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine, I think NATO allies should consider positively the delivery of defensive weapons," Fogh Rasmussen, who left his post recently after five years, told GlobalPost during a conversation in this Atlantic coast resort town. “NATO allies do have an obligation to help Ukraine.”
Western nations have been divided over the question of arming Ukraine's military. Some leaders fear it would further escalate the conflict; others contend robust action would deter Russia from further encroachments into Ukrainian territory.
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee in the US Congress proposed setting up a $200 million fund to provide weapons, training and other support to Ukraine.
Fogh Rasmussen discussed the conflict in Ukraine and the West's standoff with Russia in an interview with GlobalPost earlier this month on the sidelines of an international affairs conference.
He said NATO nations bear a responsibility to help Ukraine under a 1994 agreement in which the United States and Britain joined with Russia to guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty and borders in exchange for the former Soviet state giving up its nuclear arms.
The ex-NATO secretary general gave a gloomy assessment of prospects for peace.
A February cease-fire agreement signed in the Belarus capital Minsk has led to a scaling down of the fighting, but clashes have continued. Ukrainian forces say the growth of pro-Moscow units and a spate of bomb blasts in cities loyal to the government could be the prelude for a renewed Russian offensive.
"We all hope that the Minsk deal could pave the way for a peaceful political and diplomatic solution, but based on past experience, I'm not that optimistic," Fogh Rasmussen said. "We do see a lot of violations and my concern is that the separatists, under the guise of the cease-fire, will further advance supported by Russia."
FPro-Russian rebelsReutersPro-Russian rebels take their positions on a street, during what the rebels said was an anti-terrorist drill in Donetsk, March 18, 2015.
ogh Rasmussen stepped down at the end of his term as NATO's top civilian official in October, handing over to former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. During his final year in office, Fogh Rasmussen focused on forging a unified response among the 28 NATO allies to the crisis in Ukraine.
He said there was a risk that Russian President Vladimir Putin could launch a new offensive to capture territory along Ukraine's Black Sea coast in order to link southern Russia with the Crimea peninsula that Moscow seized from Ukraine in March 2014.
However, Fogh Rasmussen also believes Putin has already gotten most of what he wanted in Ukraine.
"Russia has actually more or less achieved what they wanted. They have annexed illegally Crimea and they have destabilized eastern Ukraine. I think the goal now is to keep this conflict alive in order to keep Ukraine weak and prevent Ukraine from seeking integration with the EU and NATO," he said.
"The Russian goal is very clear ...  and I think this will be what we witness for quite some time to come."
putinReutersRussian President Vladimir Putin (L) chairs a meeting with senior officials of the Defense Ministry and representatives of the military industrial complex at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (C) and armed forces Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, May 12, 2015.
In response, Fogh Rasmussen said the West should maintain existing sanctions on Russia— some of which are up for renewal in the European Union over the summer — and consider tougher economic measures.
"Clearly the sanctions should be prolonged and if Russia continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine, personally I think sanctions should be strengthened," said the former Danish prime minister. "In addition to that, the most important thing now would be to expand help to Ukraine, not least economically, because the Russian goal is to keep Ukraine weak."
The EU signed a $2 billion loan agreement with Ukraine on Friday to shore up the country's battered finances, but the bloc's "eastern partnership" summit in the Latvian capital, Riga, stopped well short of meeting Ukraine's hopes of getting a road map pointing to EU membership.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Speech Chatham HouseREUTERS/Luke MacGregor NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at Chatham House in London June 19, 2014.
Fogh Rasmussen said new measures to bolster defenses on NATO's eastern borders and build up rapid-reaction forces should deter Moscow from launching a conventional attack on neighboring nations within the alliance.
However, he warned that some in the east could still be vulnerable to the type of "hybrid warfare" tactics used to destabilize Crimea before the Russian annexation — such as infiltration by undercover forces, mobilization of local pro-Russian radicals, cyberattacks, propaganda campaigns and economic pressure.
"Strong NATO deterrence is essential to prevent any attack against the NATO allies and I think the steps NATO has taken have really protected the Baltic states, so I don't consider an open attack as an imminent threat," Fogh Rasmussen explained.
"Hybrid warfare could still be used to destabilize, or try to destabilize some eastern allies, in particular Estonia and Latvia where there are big Russian-speaking communities," he added.
"These countries are for many good reasons very much concerned about the Putin Doctrine that Russia reserves the right to intervene in other countries, to protect what they consider to be the interests of Russian-speaking communities."
Pro-Russian rebelsReutersPro-Russian rebels take their positions on a street, during what the rebels said was an anti-terrorist drill in Donetsk, March 18, 2015.
The decision by NATO nations last September to extend the alliance's all-for-one-one-for-all defense guarantee to cover cyberattacks was a big step toward confronting the hybrid warfare threat, Fogh Rasmussen said. He recommended NATO and the EU also do more to counter Russian propaganda — including through Russian-language news broadcasts.
Russia's renewed belligerence toward the West and the intensified threat from the Middle East posed by the emergence of the so-called Islamic State movement should have served as an alarm bell for NATO governments who have been cutting back on defense spending for years, insisted Fogh Rasmussen, who now heads a Copenhagen-based consultancy firm.
Although just six NATO members met the alliance's target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense last year — the United States, Estonia, France, Greece, Britain and Turkey — Fogh Rasmussen says he's convinced the others will stick by pledges to expand military budgets.
"It was a wake up call to see the Russian attack on Ukraine and it will lead to a rethinking in European capitals when it comes to investment in defense and security," he said. "Territorial defense is essential, but NATO should also be capable to address threats out of area, for instance, the terrorist threat coming from the Middle East."
Read the original article on GlobalPost. Copyright 2015. Follow GlobalPost on Twitter.
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Rasmussen on ukraine - Google Search

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  • Story image for Rasmussen on ukraine from Forces TV

    West Should Consider Arming Kiev With 'Defensive' Weapons – Ex ...

    Sputnik International-3 hours ago
    With the ceasefire in Ukraine being violated on a daily basis and heavy fighting continuing in many areas, Rasmussen told BBC Radio 4 that ...
  • Story image for Rasmussen on ukraine from Business Insider

    Former NATO chief: The West should consider arming Ukraine

    Business Insider-May 28, 2015
    Russia is threatening peace in European via its military actions in Ukraine and must immediately de-escalate tensions, Rasmussen said on ...
  • lethal aid to ukraine, obama and merkel - Google Search

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    Story image for lethal aid to ukraine, obama and merkel from New York Times

    ObamaMerkel pledge alliance on Ukraine

    CNN-Feb 9, 2015
    Any weapons the U.S. sends would not be meant to help Ukraine ... Both Obama and Merkelstressed the importance of working together.
    Stop stalling. Arm Ukraine.
    Opinion-Chicago Tribune-Feb 4, 2015

    US faces Europe in disarray at G7 summit | Germany | DW.DE

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    Before setting off for Thursday's G7 summit in Dresden, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Europe against 'brinkmanship' with Greece, expressing concern that a single miscalculation could lead to a crisis with unpredictable consequences for the global economy.
    "The challenge for the Europeans, the political and economic institutions - the IMF - is to show enough flexibility," Lew said at the London School of Economics on Wednesday.
    "So if the Greeks are prepared to take the kinds of tough steps that they need to take, they find a pathway to resolving this without there being an unnecessary crisis," he continued.

    Jack Lew
    Greece must pay 300 million euros ($327 million) to the International Monetary Fund by June 5th. But its current bailout program expires before then, and Athens doesn't have the cash to make the payment on its own.
    The European Union, European Central Bank, and the IMF have conditioned financial relief on Greece's leftist government implementing deep cuts in public sector employment and pensions. But Greek Prime Minister Alexander Tsipras campaigned on a promise of ending crippling austerity measures.
    Tsipras has expressed optimism that his government will finally reach a compromise with Greece's creditors after months of talks. But Brussels officials have been more reserved in their outlook. And Germany, the eurozone's economic bulwark, has been firm in its view that Athens must adhere to the conditions of the bailout.
    “The US is worried about a re-eruption of an immediate crisis and of course everybody in Europe is as well,” Peter Sparding, an expert on transatlantic economic relations at the German Marshall Fund, told DW.
    “But there is a second worry that the Germans definitely have,” Sparding said. “It's a long-term view about getting this right so that there are no long-term consequences.”
    Geopolitics of Greek default

    High security measures in Dresden
    If Greece and its creditors miscalculate and prove unable to reach a deal this month, Athens will likely default on its debt obligations. A default could force the country out of the eurozone altogether.
    “Nobody knows how the markets would react to this,” Sparding said. “The eurozone so far has been conceived of as a permanent currency union, so if a member of that currency union now can leave, that might change the view on the whole setup.”
    At a time when the EU and US are virtually in a state of cold war with Russia over Ukraine, a Greek exit from the eurozone could have geopolitical repercussions. There are already been signs that Moscow is preparing to step in should the EU miscalculate.
    Greek Prime Minister Tsipras met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last April. The Kremlin subsequently offered financial aid to Athens in an attempt to win its support for a pipeline that would carry Russian gas through Greece to European markets.
    Russian overtures

    Balloons made by the 'ONE' campaigning organisation depicting leaders of the countries members of the G7
    Most recently, Russia invited Greece to join the new development bank created by an elite club of emerging economies known as the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. So far, Athens has not accepted any of Russia's offers.
    “I don't think there's really a concern that Russia would step in and be the new source of finance because that's beyond its capabilities,” Sparding said. “But certainly, if you've seen Russian behavior over the last year, there have been attempts to drive a wedge between the European partners and also the transatlantic alliance, so far unsuccessfully.”
    Greece has been critical of the West's policy toward Russia since the conflict in Ukraine erupted. Last January, Athens nearly torpedoed European efforts to impose additional sanctions against Moscow. Under pressure, Greece eventually came around, providing the unanimous support needed under the EU's unanimous decision-making process to impose punitive measures.
    Managed crisis in Ukraine
    Washington has faced its own obstacles convincing the EU to support more severe sanctions against Russia. Berlin has expressed concern that if sanctions go too far, the resulting destabilization in Russia could have a boomerang effect on the EU.
    Though there's a shaky ceasefire in Ukraine, Washington hawks are lobbying the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to Kyiv. The US is already training Ukrainian troops for the fight against pro-Russian separatists. But the German government adamantly opposes Western military involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
    “Since Merkel visited Washington in early February, there has been a compromise to try to manage the situation at the moment with the means available at the moment, which means not yet sending lethal weapons to Ukraine,” Cornelius Adebahr, an expert on US-EU relations with Carnegie Europe, told DW.
    Threat of a British exit
    Adding another unpredictable variable to the political uncertainty in Europe, David Cameron's Conservatives won a decisive victory in the UK's general elections, all but ensuring that there will be a referendum in 2017 on Britain's membership in the EU.
    “The Americans will be very careful about getting too involved in this debate for the simple fear of producing a backlash in British public opinion,” Adebahr said. “They want to see Britain within the European Union, that's one of the main interests they have in Britain other than the defense alliance.”
    If the US can no longer rely on Britain as a bridge to Europe, Washington's influence in Brussels will likely diminish. As an outside power, the US already faces limits to what it can achieve on the continent. The main problem is a crisis of confidence within the EU, according to Adebahr.
    “The magnetism of the European project has faded,” he said. “For EU citizens it's less clear what this project is about, why it's worth fighting for when it comes to opponents like Russia with a totally different view of society.”
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    lethal aid to ukraine, obama, merkel and G-7 - Google Search

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    1. Story image for lethal aid to ukraine, obama, merkel and G-7 from Stars and Stripes

      Putin getting left out of G-7 meeting, but not much else

      Stars and Stripes-May 30, 2015
      The debate over whether to provide lethal defensive aid, such as anti-tank missiles, to Ukraine is ... Just this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Moscow ... The conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalated last year when ... When Obama meets with European leaders at next week's Group of ...
    2. Story image for lethal aid to ukraine, obama, merkel and G-7 from Deutsche Welle

      US faces Europe in disarray at G7 summit

      Deutsche Welle-May 27, 2015
      Greece teeters on the edge of default, Ukraine faces war with Russia, and ... The Kremlin subsequently offered financial aid to Athens in an attempt to ... hawks are lobbying the Obamaadministration to provide lethal weapons to Kyiv. ... “Since Merkel visited Washington in early February, there has been a ...
    3. Story image for lethal aid to ukraine, obama, merkel and G-7 from Washington Times

      Obama weighs lethal military aid to embattled Ukraine

      Washington Times-Feb 3, 2015
      9 when Mrs. Merkel arrives in Washington to meet with Mr. Obama. ... Press Monday that the president is considering lethal aid to Kiev but has ...
      Obama weighs sending lethal assistance to Ukraine
      Yahoo News-Feb 2, 2015
      Explore in depth (3,080 more articles)
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    The U.S. Needs to Rethink Its Failing Ukraine Strategy

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    Regarding your editorial “The Russians Are Coming, Again” (May 29): The cease-fire in Ukraine isn’t legitimate, and Russia’s success in exploiting it demonstrates the need to rethink our approach.
    President Obama and some of our allies seem motivated more by the desire to keep the conflict out of the headlines than to take meaningful action to address it. If that’s the goal, then the cease-fire has been somewhat successful, although the Russian violations are increasingly difficult to ignore. While visiting Ukraine last month, I was given evidence proving how the combined Russian-separatist forces have made a mockery of the February cease-fire.
    The failed cease-fire demonstrates the effectiveness of Russia’s strategy and exposes the weaknesses in the Western approach. Both Minsk I and II contained no shortage of processes and procedures to promote a peaceful resolution. What they didn't contain was any credible way to enforce the terms of the agreement. Thus, while Ukraine adheres to the cease-fire, Russia is able to violate it, while enjoying the moral and legal equivalency it grants.
    The administration and some EU members have become so fixated on ensuring the “successful implementation of the February cease-fire,” they’ve lost sight of the broader policy objectives, which should be the defense of Ukrainian sovereignty and support for the economic and political reforms Ukraine needs to build a stable, democratic and prosperous future. Meanwhile, the president maintains his de facto embargo on any of the defensive weapons Ukraine needs to defend itself and force Russia to negotiate in good faith. Simply saying you have a cease-fire doesn’t make it so. It’s time the architects of our current policy realized that.
    Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio)
    Washington
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    US Effort to Rebuild Ukraine Army Doomed to Fail / Sputnik International

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in an interview that the Iraqi army, which the US military helped train following the 2003 invasion, lacked the "will" to defeat the Islamic State militant group that had seized large areas of Iraq last year.
    Cautious support for the Carter statement was provided by White House spokesman Josh Earnest, saying Iraqi army's unwillingness to fight is a significant factor in the territorial gains of the Islamic State.
    Yakov Kedmi, a retired high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, said Iraq’s armed forces had been the best in the Middle East prior to US involvement which very quickly brought them down to the level where they became helpless in the face of half-trained militias.
    "We can draw a parallel with Ukraine in that Ukrainian authorities have managed to reduce it [the army] to the same level over the past 24 years of the country’s independence with no influence from the United States," Kedmi said.
    The expert said that US training had not succeeded in boosting morale in South Vietnam or any other of the many countries in which the United States has taken broad military action.
    "The only thing Americans do now is support the Ukrainian army financially, but even the United States does not have enough cash to rebuild the Ukrainian army today," he said, adding that troop morale is low because they are forced to fight against their own people in the east.
    The US Congress has been considering supplying Ukraine with lethal military aid since the conflict in southeast flared up in spring 2014. The current level of assistance has been reduced to military training and millions of dollars worth of what the US describes as defensive military equipment. A bill authorizing US lethal arms deliveries to Ukraine in 2016 will be put up for vote in the US Senate later this week, after it cleared the US House in May.
    Yevgeny Satanovsky, the president of the Moscow-based Institute for Middle East Studies, told Sputnik that the current government of Ukraine’s joy at the news of possible arms deliveries was premature, considering the detrimental effect that US military training has had on Vietnamese, Afghan, and Iraqi armies.
    "The protection that the US promised to South Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wasn’t worth a dime either, same as it won’t be worth a dime in Ukraine, Baltics or Poland," the Middle East expert stated.
    In April, Washington redeployed a reported 300 military instructors from Italy to the Ukraine's city of Yavoriv, near the Polish border, as part of a mission to train the Ukrainian National Guard. Kiev is also planning to hold three joint drills with US troops later this year.
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    Obama and lethal aid for ukraine - Google Search

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  • Story image for Obama and lethal aid for ukraine from PBS NewsHour

    Lawmakers Push Obama to Approve Lethal Aid for Ukraine

    <a href="http://NBCNews.com" rel="nofollow">NBCNews.com</a>-Mar 5, 2015
    A bipartisan group of House leaders are urging President Barack Obama to send "lethal aid" toUkraine to help protect the country from a ...
    Obama Administration Increasingly Divided Over Arms to Ukraine
    In-Depth-Bloomberg-Mar 5, 2015
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    International Business Times: Congress prompts Obama again for ...

    Kyiv Post-Apr 22, 2015
    As increased fighting on the ground in eastern Ukraine threatens the ... President Barack Obama to request lethal military aid for Ukraine to ...
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  • Story image for lethal aid for ukraine from Ukraine Today

    House defies Obama veto threat, passes defense policy bill with ...

    Ukraine Today-May 16, 2015
    ... defies Obama veto threat, passes defense policy bill with lethal aid for Ukraine ... On Ukraine, the bill calls for arming Ukrainian forces fighting ...
  • Story image for lethal aid for ukraine from Armenpress.am

    US Authorizes $300Mln in Lethal Defensive Aid, Training to Ukraine ...

    Sputnik International-May 14, 2015
    The United States authorized providing Ukraine defensive lethal aid and training that the country needs to protect its sovereignty, US Senate ...



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