Speaking to Congress Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked for America to provide support to Ukraine to help quell the Russian-backed insurgency in the country, in the form of lethal equipment and continuing the economic sanctions against Russia.
While, according to Al-Jazeera, the US government agreed to provide $46 million in new security assistance to Ukraine’s military forces, Poroshenko made a comment saying, “Blankets and night-vision goggles are important, but one cannot win a war with a blanket.” The Ukrainian president asked the US to give the embattled country “special security and defense status.”
Poroshenko also requested further assistance from the US in the form of “lethal and non-lethal” military equipment to aid in physical confrontations against the insurgents.
The Obama administration has said they would help the Ukrainian government in the form of financial aid and material support such as bullet-proof vests and combat helmets, but according to RT, President Obama has previously pledged non-lethal support to the country, which they plan on maintaining.
Poroshenko also made a list of evidence to support his claim of Russia’s “imperialistic mindset,” which he says threatens, not only Ukraine, but the West and the global order. Some of the evidence included Russian troops occupying South Ossetia in 2008 and Transnistria in a similar fashion in 1992, as well as the occupation of Crimea earlier this year.
“The security assurances that were extended to Ukraine then have failed to work, proving that no agreements or treaties can secure world order,” said Poroshenko according to USA Today. “Therefore, I urge you not to let Ukraine stand alone in the face of this aggression.”
Some members of Congress are agreeing with giving lethal aid to Ukraine after hearing Poroshenko’s speech.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., both said various weapons should be given to Ukraine to help in their defense but they differ on the timing of providing such support. While Hollen wants to wait to assess what is happening on the ground and within negotiations, Corker has said the US should have provided such support “when the Russians had 40,000 troops on the border…”