US mulling lethal aid to Ukraine; Russian response a concern

The Obama administration is still struggling with whether to provide lethal, defensive weapons to Ukraine amid concerns that such a move might only escalate Russia’s military campaign there, US defense leaders told Congress Wednesday. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander, told the House Armed Services Committee that he has laid out military options the administration could consider for Ukraine, ranging from sending small arms to more sophisticated weapons that would take longer to arrive and require extensive training. Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea region and has supported Russian-backed separatists in the east. Christine Wormuth, defense undersecretary for policy, said officials were discussing the possibility of sending defensive lethal aid to Ukraine that would not “fundamentally alter” the military balance of the war there but would give Ukraine a better ability to defend itself.



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