Washington, DC: Following press reports that President Obama negotiated a secret deal with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and unilaterally agreed not to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine, Congressman Mike Turner sent a letter to the president requesting that he:
(1) Immediately brief Congress on any and all details related to the alleged negotiations.
(2) Finally provide Ukraine with the lethal assistance necessary to defend their country.
“As Putin continues to send Russian troops and military equipment across the Ukrainian border in blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement, it appears that the President has covertly and unilaterally decided to deny lethal assistance to the Ukrainian military.
This decision continues President Obama’s pattern of formulating secret deals, failing to consult with Congress, and disregarding the opinions of his own administration,” said Turner.
“The President should immediately reverse his position, provide Congress with any and all details relevant to these negotiations, and make certain the Ukrainian military has the resources necessary to defend their country,” said Turner.
Over the last year, Congressman Turner has repeatedly pushed the Obama Administration to confront the reality of the Russian threat and to provide the Ukrainians with the defensive weapons they need to adequately confront Putin’s increasingly aggressive posture.
In March of 2014, Congressman Turner urged Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to immediately provide Ukraine with the critical intelligence required to fully understand the severity of the Russian threat. Instead, nearly ten months later, an intelligence gap between the Ukrainian military and the United States government remains and the administration is only now “taking a fresh look” at the situation.
Last April, the armed forces of Ukraine asked the Obama administration for both lethal and non-lethal aid. Along with a bipartisan coalition of members, Congressman Turner urged the president to provide this assistance and to help make certain the Ukrainian forces were appropriately equipped to combat pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists. The president failed to do so.
Additionally, this past fall, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of Congress and strongly reiterated his request for “more military equipment, both lethal and non-lethal, urgently,” arguing “one cannot win the war with blankets.” Notably, he stated, “In Ukraine, you don’t build a democracy. It already exists. You just defend it.” Instead of aiding Ukraine with the systems they specifically requested, the United States has persisted with its policy of solely providing non-lethal aid.