WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- Despite a House resolution advocating the shipment of weapons to Ukraine, U.S. policy remains unchanged, the State Department said.
"Nothing has changed as it relates to our decision making in this area," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday. "Our focus from the outside of the crisis has been on supporting Ukraine and on pursuing a diplomatic solution that respects Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity."
In a non-binding resolution, the House voted 348 to 48 Monday to urge President Barack Obama to send defensive assistance, termed "lethal aid," to Ukraine. U.S. shipments thus far have largely involved humanitarian aid to help the tens of thousands displaced by fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military. While a shaky cease-fire currently exists, over 6,000 people have died.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military delivered a shipment of non-lethal military equipment, including 10 Humvees, to Kiev on Wednesday.
Obama's stance mirrors that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that shipments of military aid would merely escalate the confrontation.
The resolution mentions that "Russian President Vladimir Putin's forcible takeover of Crimea last year emboldened him to expand his aggression in eastern Ukraine," and suggests that the Obama administration provide "lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine before it is too late."
On Twitter, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin thanked the House for the resolution.