News / Europe

    Biden: US Will Help Ukraine Defend Itself if Necessary

    Russia, Western Powers Trade Accusations Over Ukrainei
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    Pamela Dockins
    February 08, 2015 12:24 AM
    Comments by officials from Germany, the United States, Ukraine and Russia, all attending a major security conference in Munich on Saturday, indicate there are still big gaps between the U.S. and European view of the Ukraine crisis, on the one hand, and Russia's position, on the other. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Russia, Western Powers Trade Accusations Over Ukraine
    VOA News

    The United States wants a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine but will  continue to provide Kyiv with "security assistance," not to encourage war but to allow it to defend itself against Russia, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday.

    Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Biden said Russia's President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly vowed to work for peace but instead had delivered "tanks, troops and weapons" to the conflict. He said Russia should be judged by its deeds, rather than its words.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he had "no doubt" that the United States would send economic help and what he called aid of "other kinds" to Ukraine.

    In an interview to be fully aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Kerry said the United States would be helping Ukraine with the understanding that there is no military solution.

    "The solution is a political, diplomatic one," Kerry said. "But President Putin's got to make the decision to take an off-ramp" on support for the separatists. "And we have to make it clear to him that we are absolutely committed to the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, no matter what."

    NATO's top commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said at the conference that the West should not rule out sending weapons to the Ukrainian military — an option German Chancellor Angela Merkel strongly opposes. She said more weapons would not resolve the conflict.

    Poroshenko bemoans 'spiraling tragedy'

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also spoke at the Munich conference, holding up several Russian passports that he said had been collected from Russian soldiers many kilometers inside Ukraine's border.

    "This is the best evidence for the aggression and the presence of Russian troops," he said.

    Poroshenko said more than 5,600 civilians had been killed in the conflict since last April and called the conflict "a spiraling tragedy for my nation."

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) listen to French President Francois Hollande during a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow February 6, 2015.German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) listen to French President Francois Hollande during a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow February 6, 2015.
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) listen to French President Francois Hollande during a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow February 6, 2015.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) listen to French President Francois Hollande during a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow February 6, 2015.

    Talks among the leaders of Russia, France and Germany on a peace initiative ended early Saturday in Moscow without firm results. But a Russian spokesman said work on the plan to end the fighting was going forward.

    A senior U.S. State Department official said the French-German plan to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine was based on September's failed cease-fire agreement signed in Minsk, Belarus.

    "What is different is there is a bit more detail around how it will be implemented and more of a road map on timing, but it is broadly consistent with Minsk," the official told reporters in Munich.

    French President Francois Hollande has described the plan as "one of the last chances" to end the fighting in Ukraine.

    Germany's Merkel said at the Munich conference that it was unclear whether the peace plan would succeed, but that "it is worth making this attempt. At the very least, we owe it to the people in Ukraine."

    Russia criticizes Western stance

    While in Munich, Kerry met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, for talks on the French-German plan. 

    Lavrov said a deal to end the conflict was still possible, but he had stinging criticism for the U.S. and European stance on Ukraine, saying they had taken steps to escalate the conflict.

    "Our Western partners issued indulgences and pardoned the Kyiv authorities who started a full-scale military operation, calling their citizens terrorists," he said, referring to Ukrainians who agree with the pro-Russian separatists.

    The Ukraine crisis is high on the agenda at the three-day security conference in Munich, which ends Sunday. The conference has drawn world leaders, diplomats and defense officials.

    Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities reported that five soldiers were killed in clashes with separatists Saturday in eastern Ukraine, near the port city of Mariupol. The French news agency AFP reported that seven civilians were also killed.

    Fighting in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east near the Russian border surged after the breakdown of peace initiatives last week.

    VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins contributed to this report.

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    Comments page of 3
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    by: wise
    February 09, 2015 8:51 AM
    If US can help Ukraine defend itself with its military help, Russia can help Rebels take entire ukraine with its military help. So, Idea of america supplying weapons to Ukraine is the most ridiculous one.
    In Response

    by: Jimmy the liar from: redneck
    February 09, 2015 10:40 AM
    They are? Where's the proof? Remember anadoctal evidence by google random website doesn't count. Nothing in UN presented claims Russia isn't aiding anyone.
    In Response

    by: Jimmy
    February 09, 2015 9:55 AM
    The alternative to not supplying the military aid, is that the the Russians are aiding the rebels so as to further Russian agenda

    by: sane
    February 09, 2015 8:42 AM
    USA is just blaming Russian Troops for fighting in Ukraine. If it is true, Why not prove it by giving evidence of Russian Troops on ukrainian soil? Nato and USA never provided any credible evidence so far. Bush accused Sadam hussian about WMD. But, USA has not found any WMD in Iraq so far. Blaming someone without evidence or with false and fake evidence is what USA is alsways good at.If America provides weapons to Ukrainian military, it will only help Russia. It will make Russia openly supply arms to Rebels. Russia will take western supported ukraine military as a security threat to Russia. If USA arms ukrainian military, Russia will take it as a declaration of war on Russia.
    In Response

    by: Sand
    February 09, 2015 9:34 AM
    They can't otherwise they would have sanctions in the UN for aggression. Ukraine's army is already useless and poorly done. If Russia would topple Ukraine within weeks. It's almost laughable what people are saying.

    by: Serge from: SPb
    February 09, 2015 6:10 AM
    There is no weapons US could to supplay Ukrain to help fight against invisible Russian army
    Poroshenko likes to show fake evidences for the aggression and the presence of Russian troops and to speak he has some evidences as for boeing, buses, trolleybuses, buildings ets, shelling by himself. He could only to kill, and to ask money and weapon.
    Do you want to be engaged in homicides?

    by: John
    February 08, 2015 2:54 PM
    "Biden: US Will Help Ukraine Defend Itself if Necessary"
    -----------------------------------------------
    If necessary? At least six thousand Ukrainians have already died. How much more does Obama's administration need for the necessity to finally start kicking in? To put Ukraine into position to plea the guarantees of her territorial integrity to do their job in face of Russia's aggression (which happened to be one of the guarantees herself) is degrading and immoral especially with no sign of help in sight coming from these "guarantees". Such violation of the laws will set the precedent for Iran to cancel the nuclear negotiations and embolden China to advance its territorial claims (similar to Russia) in the Pacific.

    by: eric bizzell from: us
    February 08, 2015 2:20 PM
    Moscow has been repeatedly been bullying its former satellite states and Ukraine is the most valuable and strategic of them all. Historicly Ukraine has always been a gateway to Moscow in war and trade and as such Moscow has always repressed, starved,invaded,colonized, murdered and jailed the Ukrainian people to keep power over this gateway. Yet through all the atrosites commited against them Ukrainians are still allies with Russia. They just want have the right to choose there own fate. I think Moscow really steped in it this time.
    In Response

    by: C L Who
    February 09, 2015 5:53 PM
    Eric,
    Seems you didn't notice that all of the former Warsaw Pact members and non-Pact but in Soviet sphere of influence are now members of NATO, the sole exceptions being Ukraine and Belarus.
    Guess the bullying hasn't been so effective!
    Ukraine can choose its own fate, but it cannot choose to be a member of NATO. If the US would simply acknowledge that, peace would break out.

    by: Bob Twou
    February 08, 2015 1:31 PM
    It was the US-financed, $ 5 billion coup against a democratic presidential election (although he was corrupt, most are - lol) in Ukraine. All the evidence on tape thanks to Victoria Nuland. :)
    In Response

    by: Dimitri from: Tbilisi
    February 09, 2015 5:54 AM
    So Nuland giving out sandwiches in Ukraine is comparable to Russia's green men invading Ukraine in tanks, and rocket launchers? Ukrainian wants to fight the invader, give them weapons so they can shatter Putin's teeth, and wipe that smirk from his face.
    In Response

    by: Mr. Realistic from: Canada
    February 08, 2015 9:37 PM
    So tell us, what exactly is it about Victoria Nuland's comments that makes you believe it is some kind of damning evidence against the USA?

    Furthermore, where is your evidence of the "US-financed, $ 5 billion coup against a democratic presidential election"?

    It is time for you, and others like you, to put up or shut up, because the rest of us know you are nothing but agitators and/or Putin puppets.

    by: yuriy from: washington
    February 08, 2015 12:54 PM
    If I had an atomic bomb I would have dropped it on moscow by now!

    by: Dennis A. Buckmeir from: Huntsville, Alabama
    February 08, 2015 12:52 PM
    It never ceases to amaze me how politicians who never were in the military seem eager to send our soldiers into a conflict. I left the Army because I was tired of supporting a two-bit dictator. I didn't think a Republic (We are not a Democracy!) should support a dictatorship. In my estimation the US and Russia are being played against each other by people trying to line their own pockets with Foreign Aid. (Look at the past presidents palace to see what I mean). Let's not play this game anymore! Lets spend the Foreign Aid on disabled veterans who gave their all in the last conflict. Please imagine my finger waving in the air when the media comes across with some new crusade.

    by: Rick Cote from: Mass
    February 08, 2015 12:52 PM
    No we didn't cause this problem, Russia has always wanted the ukraine for their own purposes, Putin needs to be put into place

    by: Gabe from: USA
    February 08, 2015 12:36 PM
    We need to help now. Send Ukrain weapons and technology for them to defend their own country. Let them decide on their own. Forget about the Europeans helping, they can deal with Russia by themselves - they depend on Russina's oil. This is the right thing to do. We don't want to get involved, we are merely sending Ukrain weapons for now on a purchase order on credit.
    In Response

    by: Jim
    February 09, 2015 9:36 AM
    The war would result in mass causalities, they idea of defending something at high cost seems pointless. Ukraine will never match Russia in strength, even Europe is scared of Russia.
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