US mulls providing Kiev forces with ‘defensive’ weapons – report

Published on Russia Today RT, Feb 2, 2015.

Breedlove, NATO’s military commander, is now reportedly leading the crusade to provide lethal military assistance to Kiev to battle the anti-government forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics after failed talks in Minsk this weekend.  

“General Breedlove has repeatedly stated that he supports the pursuit of a diplomatic solution as well as considering practical means of support to the government of Ukraine in its struggle against Russian-backed separatists,” the spokesman, Capt. Gregory L. Hicks of the Navy, told the NYT.

Interviewing a number of decision makers that chose to remain anonymous until or if any policy shift on lethal aid to Ukraine is announced, the publication reports that Secretary of State John Kerry and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, are now “open for discussions.”

One official said that Susan E. Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, is also now prepared to hear arguments for helping Kiev battle the self-proclaimed republics. If true, this would signal a paradigm shift in the White House’s approach to the issue, which has so far been reluctant to escalate the crisis further than it already has … //

… The Ukraine Freedom Support Act, passed unanimously in December, authorizes the US president to provide lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine – including anti-tank weapons, ammunition, and troop-operated surveillance drones.

(full text).

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