Speaking today, President Obama left little doubt that he intends to eventually start providing weaponry to the Ukrainian military for its civil war, saying only that he needs to be certain it is “used properly.”
Obama expressed concerns that arms could “fall into the wrong hands,” and while he didn’t elaborate, it’s hard to imagine he meant the ultranationalists, since his stated goal with the arms is to “isolate Russia.”
Pentagon officials have speculated that providing arms to Ukraine would scare off the eastern rebels, though many internationally are warning its more likely it will coax Russia into arming the rebels, escalating the proxy war.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making arguing against the arms shipments a centerpiece of her US visit, as Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are trying to end the war. US and British officials have made clear, however, that they view those efforts as unwelcome.