A senior Obama administration official said that while the White House continues to believe there is no military resolution in Ukraine, the country has the right to defend itself. The new aid package includes $75 million in “non-lethal defensive security assistance,” and the new Humvees. Also included are secure communications equipment and radars that detect mortar fire.
“This new assistance is part of our ongoing efforts to help sustain Ukraine’s defense and internal security operations and resist further aggression,” the administration official said.
The Raven drones to be sent look like this:
White House officials said in a statement that Biden and Poroshenko spoke about “the situation in the east, additional non-lethal U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, and new sanctions on Russian-backed separatists and their supporters.” Biden added that he remains concerned about ongoing violations of a cease-fire by the separatists near Donetsk and Mariupol, areas that have at times seen fierce fighting.
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate last week that he is open to sending U.S. weapons to Ukraine, joining a growing number of senior American officials who say Kiev may need lethal aid from the United States. President Obama has so far resisted that idea, even as new Russian tanks and artillery cross the border into Ukraine.
David Nakamura contributed to this report.