Ukraine’s pleas for lethal aid from US go un­met

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — The United States will pro­vide $46 mil­lion in new se­cu­rity as­sis­tance to the Ukraine’s mil­i­tary but stop short of ful­fill­ing an ur­gent re­quest from Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko for lethal aid to help his coun­try fight Rus­sian-backed sep­a­ratists.

Poroshenko pleaded his case dur­ing re­marks Thurs­day to a rare joint meet­ing of Congress. While he thanked the U.S. for the non­lethal equip­ment it is pro­vid­ing his coun­try’s be­lea­guered mil­i­tary, he said more was needed to stop provo­ca­tions near the Rus­sian bor­der.

“Blan­kets and night vi­sion gog­gles are im­por­tant, but one can­not win a war with a blan­ket,” he said dur­ing a 40-minute ad­dress that was re­peat­edly in­ter­rupted by ap­plause from law­mak­ers.

Hours later, Poroshenko ar­rived at the White House for dis­cus­sions with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, a meet­ing meant to send a mes­sage to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin about the West’s sup­port for Ukraine.

“The pic­ture of Pres­i­dent Poroshenko sit­ting in the Oval Of­fice will be worth at least a thou­sand words — both in English and Rus­sian,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Ukraine and Krem­lin-backed sep­a­ratists have been locked in a months-long fight for con­trol of east­ern Ukrainian cities that sit on Rus­sia’s bor­der, ag­gres­sion that fol­lowed Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of the strate­gi­cally im­por­tant Crimean Penin­sula.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry ges­tures as he tes­ti­fies on Capi­tol Hill in Wash­ing­ton, Thurs­day, Sept. 18, 2014, dur­ing a House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee hear­ing. At the hear­ing, Kerry sought to push back on an ar­gu­ment by some in Congress that Syria’s rebels lack mod­er­ates, or at least any with the ca­pac­ity to make a dif­fer­ence in the war.

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