Kerry says arming Ukrainian forces has not been ruled out

By REUTERS
February 22, 2015 01:47

US President Barack Obama will evaluate the next steps in dealing with the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the coming days, including arming Ukrainian forces and sanctions against Moscow, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.

"In the next few days, I anticipate that President Obama will evaluate the choices that are in front of him and will make his decision as to what the next step will be," Kerry told a news conference after meetings with his British counterpart.

His words came as a fragile European-brokered ceasefire in eastern Ukraine continues to fall apart.

"So far, Russia and the separatists are only complying in a few areas selectively. Not in Debaltseve, not outside Mariupol and not in other key strategic areas. That is simply unacceptable. If this failure continues, make no mistake, there will be further consequences, including consequences that would place added strains on Russia's already troubled economy," said Kerry.

As further sanctions against Moscow are considered, Kerry said arming Ukrainian troops with lethal weapons had not been ruled out, adding that a decision would depend on events in the area over the next few days.


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