World leaders have been struggling with how to confront the issue of the war in Ukraine, and President Obama on Monday said he was considering sending aid in the form of lethal defensive arms to the Ukrainian government.
“The 21st century cannot have us stand idle and simply allow the borders of Europe to be redrawn at the barrel of the gun,” Obama said at a White House news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to ABC News.
The president also said Russia had violated “every commitment” outlined in the Minsk Protocol, which was signed in September 2014, by representatives from the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic, and the Lugansk People’s Republic. Russia has maintained they have not sent troops or supplies to rebels in the affected areas.
Chancellor Merkel and the French President Francois Hollande, according to FOX News, are planning for a peace conference later this week where leaders from Russia and the Ukraine would be in attendance. If the peace talks fail however, President Obama has said, “what I’ve asked my team to do is look at all options… The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined.”
“Both Angela and I have emphasized that the prospect for a military solution to this problem is always been low,” President Obama said. “My hope is that through diplomatic efforts, those costs have become high enough that Mr. Putin’s preferred option is for a diplomatic solution. ”
According to the BBC, the details of the peace talks have not been released, but a demilitarized zone is thought to be included which would cover 50-70 km, or 31-44 miles, around the affected war zone.
Until the peace talks are completed, Vice President Joe Biden, who attended the Munich Security Conference over the weekend, said, “We will continue to provide Ukraine with security assistance not to encourage war, but to allow Ukraine to defend itself.”