WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Diplomatic efforts to secure a new Ukrainian peace deal in Minsk later this week will not be effective until the United States provides defensive military aid to Ukraine, US Senator John McCain told Sputnik.
“I can assure you right now, they [the Minsk Contact Group] may reach some kind of papered-over agreement, as they did with the last Minsk agreement, and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin will violate it,” McCain told Sputnik on Tuesday.
Asked if diplomatic costs could be effective, McCain stated, “not until we give the Ukrainians the ability to defend themselves.”
US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in a Monday press conference of imposing additional diplomatic “costs” on Russia’s leadership until a settlement is reached in Ukraine.
McCain referred to such measures as “foolishness” and “naivete.” While President Obama restated his position on Monday that his administration would not be providing lethal aid to Ukraine, Senator McCain commented, “I think he is feeling enormous pressure” to change his position.
Together, the United States and its allies have imposed multiple sanctions against Russia’s banking, energy and military sectors, as well as on several high-profile individuals over Moscow’s alleged involvement in Ukraine’s internal affairs. However, Russia has repeatedly denied these accusations and continues to argue that the warring sides should establish direct dialogue.
Talks are scheduled to continue between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk on Wednesday. The leaders are expected to draw up an agreement to help end the resurgent violence in eastern Ukraine.