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US weapons to Ukraine would turn Donbas into proxy war

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Significance

However, fears continue that the separatist withdrawal is an opportunity for them to reorganise their forces in preparation for an assault on Mariupol. Poroshenko said that since the Minsk 2.0 ceasefire came into effect 64 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed. On March 5, Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner sent a letter to President Barack Obama, urging the president to send lethal defensive weaponry to help Ukraine's military. Boehner reminded Obama that he had been given the powers to aid Kyiv through the Ukraine Freedom Support Act but so far Obama has not provided lethal defensive military aid.

Impacts

  • US will struggle to stop lethal military aid reaching Ukrainian volunteer battalions, some of them accused of human rights abuses.
  • Western aid will likely remain non-lethal (radar and intelligence support) rather than lethal weaponry.
  • White House-Congress relations are dire and Obama will be unmoved by congressional pressure.
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