US Senator calls for arms for Ukraine as ‘full-scale war’ looms with Russia

by Tim Lister, Faith Karimi and Shelby Lin Erdman | CNN | August 31, 2014


A U.S. lawmaker is calling for the arming of Ukrainian forces engaged in fighting Russian troops along the nation’s eastern border with Russia.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, is in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on a fact-finding mission into the monthslong conflict there between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Menendez called this a “watershed moment” in the conflict. He said it’s time to recognize what’s really happening in eastern Ukraine — not a rebel uprising, but a Russian invasion.

“And we must recognize it as that,” said Menendez, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee. “When I read the headlines back at home that suggest rebels are advancing in different parts of eastern Ukraine, it’s not rebels — it’s Russian soldiers.”

“We should be providing the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon (Russian President Vladimir) Putin for further aggression.”

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