"One cannot win a war with blankets.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
The White House rejected a plea from Ukraine’s president on Thursday for weapons in the fight against Russian-backed separatists, announcing a $53 million package of non-lethal aid instead.
In an address to a joint meeting of Congress, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked for fuller military assistance from the United States government, including both “lethal and non-lethal” equipment.
“Blankets and night-vision goggles are important,” Poroshenko said. “But one cannot win a war with blankets,” reports the Washington Post.
He added, “I urge America to help us rise and be equal to its natural and manifest role. I urge America to lead the way.”
But the Obama administration has resisted providing arms directly to Ukrainian forces for fear of escalating the standoff with Russia. The White House has instead urged Russia to conduct negotiations between both sides.
Following Poroshenko’s speech, the White House announced an aid package including $46 million in “security assistance” and $7 million in humanitarian relief. Counting the new funds, the United States has provided $219 million to Ukraine in 2014.
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