Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked the US Congress for more lethal military aid for fighting in the east of Ukraine.
He told US senators and representatives: “They need more military equipment, please understand me correctly. Blankets, night vision goggles are also important but one cannot win the war with blankets.”
Poroshenko also requested a special security and defence status for Ukraine as a non-NATO member. His requests were greeted with applause and standing ovations.
The Ukrainian president also pushed for further sanctions against what he called “the aggressor” and said the annexation of Crimea was a “cynical act of treachery.”
“There is no way at no price and under no condition that we will ever put (up) with the Crimean occupation. I urge you America and the world to stand united in sending the signal to the aggressors of today and to the future that the policy and practice of annexation will never be tolerated,” Poroshenko said.
His speech came after President Obama’s government announced 53 million dollars (41 million euros) in non-lethal aid to Ukraine including counter-mortar radar equipment, patrol vehicles, boats and surveillance equipment.
The Ukrainian president went on to compare his country to Israel, saying both had the right to defend themselves.
He also claimed that other countries with Russian speakers could be “targeted” by Russia and that Ukraine was fighting a war for “the free world.”
His opportunity to address a joint meeting of the US Congress is seen as an honor intended to underscore Washington’s commitment to Ukraine.