Monday, February 9, 2015

World Leaders Voice Decisions/Concerns in Arming Ukraine as NATO & Russia Continue to Butt Heads

Angela Merkel

Merkel has been perhaps the loudest voice arguing against arming the Ukrainian military. She believes Western arms could escalate the conflict, and that attempts to scare Putin into backing down are ill-founded.

Vladimir Putin

Russia has warned against Western nations arming Ukraine, though Putin and other Russian officials have not admitted to backing the rebels.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said that it would be a "very serious signal" and a threat to Russian security if Western countries began to ship lethal aid to Ukraine.
Putin says Western nations caused the Ukraine conflict by forcing Eastern European countries to choose between Russia and western-centric NATO, and he has said Ukraine's government has aggravated the fighting by using force to crack down on rebels.

Barack Obama

Obama has long resisted some pressure from within the U.S. government to begin arming Ukraine. At a press conference with Merkel following their meeting, he clearly favored Merkel's diplomatic approach.

David Cameron

Though British Prime Minister David Cameron has not been a major player in negotiations with Putin in recent months, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond recently said that the United Kingdom doesn't "feel that the supply of arms would be a helpful contribution," and advocated for a "political solution."

Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly in favor of military aid, but says his armed forces will use it only to defend against rebel attacks.
"Over the course of the offensive we have proved to be responsible and we will not use the defensive equipment for attack," Poroshenko said on Saturday.
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