White House’s decision to consider sending arms to Ukraine is still causing arguments before the Minsk Summit.
Germany (Non Governmental Initiative) – Specialists assessed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Washington for Deutsche Welle. Michal Werz from the think tank Center for American Progress notes that the number of casualties in Ukraine is much higher than announced. Political analyst Werz points that the dimensions of the catastrophe keep increasing and asks: “How long can West act as if there is no space to move”?
One of the options at the table is sending arms to the Ukrainian army. The proposal by the Republicans in the US is being discussed by the Obama government. Signals show that Obama will make his choice according to this proposal. Recently The Wall Street Journal published remarks of Vice President Joe Biden about supporting sending of arms to Ukraine. In his joint press conference with Merkel, President Obama said they had not decided on this issue yet. Thus Obama is not at odds with Merkel who is still trying to find ways for negotiations with Putin.
‘Defending territorial integrity is a right’
Karen Donfried, Chairwoman of the German Marshall Fund, believes that White House has still not decided even for defensive arms, let alone assault arms. Daniel Kochis from the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation emphasizes this statement is surprising and adds; “It is surprising that the President still has not decided to send defensive arms. I personally support this decision fully. Ukrainians have the right to defend their territorial integrity. The reluctance shown by the US and European partners prevent Putin from paying the price for doing this”.
Merkel on the other hand is against sending arms thinking it will escalate the tension. Karen Donfried points that the discussion of this issue between Germany and the US is a dispute and adds: “Chancellor Merkel clearly stated that Germany will not be sending arms to Ukraine. The debate in the US continues in a different way. The opposition here believes that the President should do more. It is believed that the US should send arms to Ukraine after Russia has escalated the tension. The claim that this will provoke Russia more is not a valid argument because Russians are totally involved in this event already”.
‘Germany has got interest in Russia’
Republican Senator John McCain had accused Merkel for watching the slaughtering in Ukraine during the Munich Security Conference. Daniel Kochis states he agrees this critics pointing that Germany has got major interests in Russia: “No doubt Germany has got major interests in Russia. Germany will definitely prefer the solution of the crisis through negotiations. However the problem is that a step taken for a new agreement is nothing more than bowing before Russia. The Russians have not shown any signal that they will withdraw from Ukraine”.
Merkel’s policy is being criticized by Michael Werz from Center for American Progress. Werz says he does not understand Merkel ruling out the military option before meeting Putin and adds Germany has lost the aces unnecessarily..
The debate is followed closely by Kremlin. Spokesman of the Russian Presidency Dmitri Peskov said the decision to send arms and imply new sanctions would destabilize Ukraine much more than the present. Peskov said Russia is a country that is seriously attempting to find a solution for the crisis. Chairman of the Russian National Security Council Nikolay Patruşev stated that Russia shall stick to diplomatic solution even if others decide to send arms.