As increased fighting on the ground in eastern Ukraine threatens the already fragile ceasefire, members of the U.S. Congress once again are pressing President Barack Obama to request lethal military aid for Ukraine to combat Russian-backed rebels. The president already has ignored a resolution urging lethal U.S. aid for Ukraine that the House passed by 348 to 48 votes.

“There is no doubt that it is important to provide humanitarian assistance to the population that is affected by the fighting. However, this aid only treats the symptoms of a larger problem,” read the statement by Reps. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio. “The Ukrainian government is in dire need of defensive weapons, which are necessary to protect its borders and sovereignty.”

“The defensive items will help Ukraine to continue the process of economic and government reforms initiated after the Euromaidan,” it added, referring to the revolution that ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych last year.

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