MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Injecting more weapons is not the way to end the Ukrainian crisis, said Ben Rhodes, assistant to the US president and Deputy National Security Advisor.
“We don't think the answer to the crisis in Ukraine is simply to inject more weapons,” Rhodes said in an interview with CNN Monday.
Earlier on Monday, the New York Times reported that the United States is considering providing Ukraine with lethal assistance. A number of senior US officials, including NATO’s military commander Philip M. Breedlove, are reportedly in support of sending weapons to the conflict-torn country.
“We still think that the best way to influence Russia's calculus is through those economic sanctions that are biting deep into the Russian economy,” he said.
The armed conflict in Donbas began in April, when Kiev-led forces launched a military operation against the region’s mostly Russian-speaking independence supporters who opposed Ukraine’s new post-coup government.
Washington has introduced several rounds of sanctions against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis, claiming that Russian authorities provide independence supporters in eastern Ukraine with military support. Moscow has firmly denied the claims, calling on Kiev to engage in dialogue with the breakaway regions in Donbas.