Russia Vows Swift Retaliation if the U.S Arms Ukraine! Despite President Obama’s claim on Monday that he has not yet made a decision about supplying defensive weapons to the Ukrainian army, which is battling Russia-backed separatists who want an independent region within that country, the Russian media is full of predictions. They’re warning of the terrible impact further U.S. involvement in the conflict might have. Quoting a member of the Russian Defense Ministry’s public advisory board who requested anonymity, The Moscow Times reported Monday that if the U.S. supplied arms to Ukraine, it would be viewed as an act of war. That action would not only increase the tension in the region, it would also force the Kremlin to “respond asymmetrically against Washington or its allies on other fronts,” the publication reported.  Evgeny Buzhinsky, a former lieutenant general in the Russian Army who is now at the Moscow-based PIR Center, told the publication, “Russia would reasonably consider the U.S. to be a direct participant in the conflict.” Also on Monday, the government-owned news agency ITAR-TASS reported that Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said, “We see major pressure on the issue in the United States, especially in Congress.” “If the U.S., following a request from the Ukrainian government, starts supplying weapons to Kiev, it will violate a number of international documents,” Churkin said. “The U.S. has repeatedly chosen a graded approach to rules of international law.” The government news agency also quoted Ruslan Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management, as calling the U.S. position a bluff. “It is just a kind of poker bidding up, it is a bluff, an attempt to press Putin to be more tractable,” Bortnik reportedly said.  Will the U.S. supply arms to Ukraine? “Of course not,” Bortnik told TASS. “It might trigger an arms race bound to end up in Ukraine’s complete military defeat.” Bortnik and his organization, it should be noted, are difficult to find in news archives, except in stories published by Russia’s government-friendly media. The Obama administration’s position on arming Ukraine is actually still far from clear. While Obama held open the possibility during Monday’s joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived in Washington, D.C. Sunday evening, he was also dismissive of the Ukrainian army’s ability to effectively counter a “determined” Russian advance. U.S. aid, Obama suggested, would be aimed at raising the costs to Russia of further aggression, not actually preventing it entirely. More