Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:25AM
The head of US European Command is concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reaction to Washington’s decision to send weapons to Ukraine.
“Clearly, we don’t know what Mr. Putin will do,” Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove said on Wednesday. “I think that we have to be cognizant it could cause positive results, it could cause negative results.”
The top US general in Europe also noted the Obama administration is considering whether to arm Ukrainian forces in fighting against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
“Right now, we are not arming the Ukrainian with lethal weapons and what we see is Russia continues to build up its force,” Gen. Breedlove claimed. “What is clear is that right now, it is not getting better, it is getting worse every day.”
The NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, however, said sending heavy weapons would not help the Ukrainian forces.
The general said the Pentagon is planning to train 600 Ukrainian forces in the western part of the country next month.
Moscow would not remain indifferent to such “provocative actions” and “will have to respond appropriately,” said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in reference to US plans to arm Ukraine.
Relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Washington accuses Moscow of arming and supporting pro-Russian forces fighting in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry, however, calls the accusations “groundless.”
On Tuesday, US combat vehicles took part in a parade in an Estonian city near the Russian border. The US armored personnel carriers and other US Army vehicles rolled through the streets of Narva amid the escalating tensions between the two powers.
In an interview with Press TV on Wednesday, political commentator Andrew Korybko said the United States is trying to “provoke” Russia into an aggressive reaction through conducting a military parade near the Russian border.
Korybko said Washington is trying to “provoke Russia into a reaction to paint it as an aggressor even if that’s not really the case.”
He noted that this is a “symbolic power projection” through which the United States is trying to say that it is in “Russia’s backyard.”