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Lethal Aid Can't Help Ukraine – American Expert

01.09.2017 16:42

On Thursday, weeks after rumors swirled around Washington that the State Department and Pentagon want the president to arm Ukraine, Secretary of Defense James Mattis confirmed that the White House is considering sending weapons to the country.

Julie Thompson, a policy and research analyst at the Charles Koch Institute, asserts that US President Donald Trump should reject any such proposal. According to her, the United States has already devoted $750 million to Ukraine with little to show for it. Besides, providing lethal aid will escalate tensions with Russia and contradict to the interests of NATO allies who prefer to solve the conflict diplomatically, the political analyst said.

She claims that sending more weapons would not improve the situation. Relations between the United States and Russia are already at a low point. Sending new weapons to Ukraine would only escalate tensions. Moreover, Russia remains a powerful, nuclear-armed state, and disturbing one of its core strategic interests is unwise and could make the conflict bloodier, the expert stresses.

In her opinion, Russia will always have a greater interest in Ukraine than the United States. Ukraine is not only in Russia's backyard, but was historically part of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union. Given that Russian leaders believe their country's core strategic interests are at stake in Ukraine; they are unlikely to give ground, even if the United States tries to bleed Russia by attrition, the political expert said.

In addition, giving lethal aid to Ukraine could also put the United States in an awkward position vis-a-vis its NATO allies. Importantly, NATO allies like France and Germany acknowledge the Russian point of view about arming Ukraine, and have previously said that providing Ukraine with lethal weaponry would constitute a "dangerous, permanent escalation" against Russia, she points out.

Ukraine's security has little to do with the fundamental safety of the United States. President Trump should not send lethal aid to Ukraine and should avoid further entangling the United States into this conflict, the analyst resumed.