Friday, September 19, 2014

Team Obama rebuffs Ukraine appeal for Weapons

The White House refused to include weapons in an aid package announced Thursday for embattled Ukraine despite an impassioned plea by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for more military assistance.
The Obama administration is providing $46 million in non-lethal security assistance and $7 million for relief organizations providing humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians affected by the conflict between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern region.
The White House announcement came shortly after Poroshenko stood before a joint session of Congress and pleaded for more political support and military equipment beyond the non-lethal aid the United States has pledged.
Poroshenko said blankets and night-vision goggles from the USA are important, "but one cannot win a war with blankets!"
CLICK MAP to OPEN: Ukraine Crisis in Maps
What the White House offered was a military aid package that will provide body armor, helmets, vehicles, night and thermal vision devices, advanced radios, patrol boats, counter-mortar radars, rations, tents and uniforms. U.S. military and civilian advisers will help Ukraine improve its defense capacity, the White House said.
The new aid brings the total U.S. assistance package for Ukraine to $291 million, plus a $1 billion loan
guarantee. The Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid for fear of escalating tensions.
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