US President Barack Obama says he’s waiting for the results of crucial talks on Ukraine before deciding whether to supply arms to the Kyiv government.
That was the message from a meeting between the president and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington.
The German leader is in town to update Obama on Franco-German efforts to revive last year’s Minsk peace plan which collapsed after separatist rebels restarted their offensive in eastern Ukraine.
“If, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change Mr. Putin’s calculus. The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that are being examined. But I have not made a decision about that yet,” said President Obama.
Chancellor Merkel responded: “As far as arms exports (to Ukraine) are concerned, I have laid out my position. But make no mistake: whatever happens, the alliance between the United States of America and Europe will be there.”
Germany and much of Europe strongly believe diplomacy is the only way to resolve the conflict and that arming Kyiv will turn it into a proxy war between Washington and Moscow.
Our correspondent in Washington ,Stefan Grobe,concluded:
“Obama and Merkel displayed a show of unity even if there might be some tactical differences between them. As the chancellor said, both want Russia to comply with international rules, but how to encourage Putin to do so that’s the multi-million dollar question.”