'Putin wants to dominate Ukraine, US must supply arms to Kiev'

As debate continues over whether Ukraine should be supplied with arms to shore up its staggering defenses in fight against the pro-Russian rebels, US Senator John McCain has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to dominate Ukraine.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Feb 09, 2015, 17:38 PM IST
'Putin wants to dominate Ukraine, US must supply arms to Kiev'

Munich: As debate continues over whether Ukraine should be supplied with arms to shore up its staggering defenses in fight against the pro-Russian rebels, US Senator John McCain has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to dominate Ukraine.

Discrediting Russia's apparent participation in resolving Ukraine crisis, McCain added that Putin may just make “tactical compromises here or there, but just as a prelude to further aggression”.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, McCain reasoned that Kiev should be supplied with defensive arms because it will increase the military cost to Russian forces and make it tough for Putin to continue the war.

“The right question is: If we help Ukrainians increase the military cost to the Russian forces that have invaded their country, how long can Putin sustain a war that he tells his people is not happening? That is why we must provide defensive arms to Ukraine,” he added.

Making a strong case in favour of arming Kiev, McCain slammed the “collective failure to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine” and accused Putin of intending to dominate Ukraine.

“He (Putin) wants to dominate Ukraine, as well as Russia’s other neighbors,” he said.

McCain's statement comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems against the idea of providing arms to Ukraine, citing the wide gap between the military strengths of Ukraine and Russia.

Merkel on Monday flew to Washington to meet US President Barack Obama to discuss the Ukraine crisis.

Merkel and other European leaders believe that arming Ukraine will further prolong the conflict.

However, US Vice President Joe Biden hinted that US was in favour of arming Kiev as he said that US will stand by Ukraine as it battles pro-Russia separatists.

In a blunt warning to Russia, US Vice President Joe Biden addresses President Vladimir Putin directly telling him to make a very “simple, stark choice” between either getting out of Ukraine or facing increasing isolation.

"Given Russia's recent history, we need to judge its deeds not its words. Don't tell us, show us, President Putin! Too many times President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks and troops and weapons," blasted Biden.

Meanwhile, Putin on Sunday held a four-way conference call with Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko to discuss the peace plan. They  have agreed to meet for a four-way summit on Wednesday in Belarus's capital Minsk.

An earlier ceasefire deal signed in Minsk, in Belarus, last September fell apart as rebels have continued battling the security forces and gained more ground.