VP Biden suggests sending weapons to Ukraine

The vice president's speech at the Brookings Institution strongly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin.
By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  May 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 28 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden said the White House is still considering sending lethal aid to Ukraine in a speech that strongly condemned the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking Wednesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Biden accused Putin of "brutal aggression" in Ukraine and "aggressive repression at home."

"Putin's vision has very little to offer the people of Europe, or for that matter the people of Russia, other than myths and illusions," Biden said. He added a discussion of whether to supply Ukraine with weapons, as favored by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, was "worth having."

"We're not looking to embarrass him. We're not looking for regime change. We're not looking for any fundamental alteration of the circumstances inside Russia. We're looking for him to, in our view, act rationally. The world looks different today than it did before he re-assumed the presidency. President Putin must understand as he has changed, so has our focus."

U.S. military aid to Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, has been limited so far to training and non-lethal aid such as vehicles. Later Wednesday, $18 million more in humanitarian aid to Ukraine was announced by the State Department, noting that 5 million people in Ukraine are in need of aid.

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