U.S. Plans to Provide Ukraine With Weapons
Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had a meeting with the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Kiev yesterday. The parties focused on widening military support to Ukrainian authorities with the operation in the east of the country failed.
Poroshenko called for the U.S. to supply arms to Ukrainian national forces and toughen sanctions against Russia. Senator Menendez said he would insist on joint session of Congress this month to let the Ukrainian president make the case directly to U.S. lawmakers and convene a hearing of his committee on the situation in Ukraine. "We need to give the Ukrainians all the things necessary to defend themselves" against separatists, underlined the senator and added that "I know we've provided them with night vision goggles, but it doesn't do much good to see the enemy forces and not be able to stop them."
Menendez said the sanctions imposed on Russia must be expanded to include whole sectors of its economy, including finance and energy. The senator added that the U.S. response would send a clear signal not only to Russia, but to other states, potential threats to the United States - China, Iran and North Korea.
In his turn, Poroshenko reiterated his gratitude to the U.S. Congress for the initiative to give Ukraine a status of the main ally beyond NATO. "It will allow receiving new opportunities from cooperation with the USA and enhancing our security," he said. The head of state intends to raise the issue of recognizing the so-called Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic terrorist organizations while visiting the United States.
Menendez met with Poroshenko during an Eastern European trip that also included negotiations on the Ukrainian crisis with the presidents of Poland and Estonia, NATO allies of the United States. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is considered to be a personal friend of Senator Menendez.
Petro Poroshenko is likely to be in a desperate search for more real political and military support of U.S. as he is in a tight spot now: the operation in Eastern Ukraine fails, separatists are successfully opposing and even attacking with captured weapons in use. The moral of troops isn't perfect; there isn't sufficient logistics, command and control. Moreover the paramilitary units of radical nationalists are really disappointed with the course of war and are involved in elite fighting for power. So, the Ukrainian Poroshenko has no time to decide and at the meeting with Barack Obama September, 18 he will certainly look for his personal well-being which according to him depends on the military settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.