Obama Says Still Thinking About Sending Weapons Into Ukraine, Merkel Opposed

In a joint press conference today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama said he had yet to make a decision related to sending US weapons into Ukraine. The president’s decision comes on the heels of a controversial report underwritten partly by the US defense industry that calls for the US to send $3 billion worth of weapons into the Ukraine conflict. Dissent quickly rose – even within the national security establishment – at the arms proposal for fear that the move would escalate the already bloody conflict.

When asked by a German journalist whether or not President Obama feared that any weapons sent in to the country that were meant for the Ukrainian military might end up in the hands of separatists in the east or the powerful neofascist militias that Kiev is aligned with, the president said that that concern would be factored into his decision. How much, who knows?

President Putin, meanwhile, continued to blame the US for fomenting a “coup d’etat in Kiev” and rehashing the deeply held grudge Russians have concerning an alleged broken promise the West made not to expand NATO after the end of the Cold War. Recent comments by President Obama that he helped “broker a deal to transition power in Ukraine” have only further fueled suspicions that the US played a role in ousting democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovich and that Ukraine is part of a larger policy agenda that seeks to undercut Russian influence in Eastern Europe.

Chancellor Merkel let it be known at the press conference that she continued to be skeptical that US arms would help any peace plan for Ukraine, but did affirm continued support for sanctions.

Merkel is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday with French President Francois Hollande, and European Union ministers held off tightening sanctions on Monday to give the talks a chance. Merkel and Obama have come under fire from U.S. foreign policy hawks in the Republican-controlled Congress who want weapons sent to the Ukraine army…

Merkel made clear in Munich her opposition to arming Kiev. “I understand the debate but I believe that more weapons will not lead to the progress Ukraine needs. I really doubt that,” she said.

Unlike the US, Germany is in Europe and has an actual stake in a peaceful outcome. That seemingly obvious statement is lost on any US observers of the Ukraine conflict, particularly in the corporate press who apparently buy in to the theory that all conflicts in the world involve US interests.

President Obama has already been authorized by Congress to send weapons into Ukraine, whether he wants to take that step is still up in the air. Dumping weapons into Ukraine will not just escalate the Ukraine civil war but will also certainly exacerbate US-Russian relations. Who gains from a new Cold War?

Exit mobile version