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US Senate, House May Split on Lethal Arms Supplies to Ukraine

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The United States Senate and House of Representatives may split on the issue of lethal aid's provision to Ukraine.

US President Barack Obama - Sputnik International
US Senator Urges Obama to Inventory Lethal Aid to Kiev
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States Senate and House of Representatives may split whether to apply additional legislative pressure on US President Barack Obama to provide lethal military aid to the government of Ukraine, according to statements from both chambers of Congress.

“We’ll be looking at, marking up legislation,” US Senator John McCain said at a Thursday press conference on future legislative action to pressure the president in the event he does not provide military aid to Ukraine.

Ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Jack Reed said he is hopeful the press conference will “reenergize the political process.”

The gathering brought together a bipartisan grouping of nearly a dozen senators.

Reed expressed hope the Senate’s show of support for military aid to Ukraine was a reiteration of the bicameral, bipartisan bill passed in December 2014 that authorized the supply of defensive lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces drive armored vehicles in the town of Volnovakha, eastern Ukraine, January 18, 2015. - Sputnik International
Defense Secretary Nominee Urges US to Supply Lethal Arms to Ukraine

Speaking at a separate press conference on Thursday, Representative Sander Levin said that if the Obama administration provides defensive weapons, there will be no need for further congressional action.

“We are hopeful there will be a decision reached soon,” he said.

Levin was joined by a delegation of new Ukrainian parliamentarians, each of whom expressed gratitude for the congressional support, but entreated the US president to take action to provide them with defensive weaponry.

The Obama administration has so far been reluctant to arm the government in Kiev. The US Senate and House passed legislation authorizing $35 million for the president to spend on military equipment, but according to recent statements by the White House, the administration is still considering their options.

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