Sat Feb 7, 2015 11:33AM
A senior NATO commander says the Western states should not exclude the option of sending weapons to Ukraine amid escalating tensions between Moscow and the West.
Commenting on whether Washington should supply weapons to the Ukrainian government, General Philip Breedlove, the commander of the US European Command and NATO Allied Command Operations, said the Western military alliance should not “preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option.”
“The Ukrainians have been straightforward in their request to all the nations of NATO and other nations as well about the capabilities they need to address artillery problems, to address communications problems and jamming problems,” he said.
The remarks come as ten US senators, including Chairman of US Senate Committee on Armed Services John McCain, have urged President Barack Obama’s administration to supply Kiev with lethal arms.
This is while Russia’s envoy to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said supplying weapons to Ukraine would be “the worst idea” under the current situation in the conflict-torn state.
Breedlove also dismissed as “completely unacceptable” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent peace proposals aimed at ending the turmoil in Ukraine.
The US and its allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russia forces. Moscow, however, denies any involvement.
International efforts to forge a truce in eastern Ukraine have failed so far with Western governments accusing Russia of supporting the armed militancy against the Ukrainian government. Moscow denies the charges, saying Kiev must stop the suppression of the ethnic Russian population in the area.