Divisions on Display Over Western Response to Ukraine at Security Conference
Differences within the Western alliance over whether to send defensive arms to Ukraine were thrust into the open on Saturday when Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said she bluntly opposed providing lethal military support to Kiev and called instead for continued efforts to persuade Russia and its separatist forces to cease fire.
“The progress that Ukraine needs cannot be achieved by more weapons,” she told a security conference here.
Ms. Merkel’s position was challenged by Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who noted that there was growing support in the American Congress for arming Ukraine.
And Malcolm Rifkind, the former British foreign secretary and conservative politician, asserted that it was unlikely a peace agreement could be reached unless the Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine faced tougher Ukrainian resistance.