Obama & Merkel to Discuss Arming Ukraine in Washington Next Week For months, the United States has been supplying non-lethal aid to Ukrainian forces. But a number of officials have urged for that support to include lethal assistance, and with German Chancellor Merkel visiting Washington next week, those talks will be on the table.
WASHINGTON, February 2nd (Sputnik) — After heavy losses suffered by the Ukrainian army at the hands of anti-Kiev rebels in the country’s east, the Obama administration considers supplying government forces with sophisticated armament, hoping to change momentum in the bloody civil war.

A White House administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to the New York Times, has indicated that President Obama may be willing to approve the shipment of lethal aid to the Ukrainian government. Caches of weapons would include anti-armor missiles, artillery radars, armored vehicles and other sophisticated military hardware.

So far, official US support has been limited to tactical supplies like gas masks, night-vision goggles, body armor, and first aid. But now Washington fears that the Ukrainian army may disintegrate without support from abroad. However, before making any new policy decisions, President Obama wants to discuss the issue with European leaders, first being German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrives in Washington next week.

Merkel has been coordinating European efforts to reach a cease-fire in Ukraine, often taking a hardline position towards Russia for its alleged involvement in the crisis. But on Monday this week, Merkel reiterated her previous position that Germany will not supply Ukraine with weapons, preferring to focus on diplomacy to end the conflict. More