Rubio Calls for Military Aid for Ukraine

Image: Rubio Calls for Military Aid for Ukraine

Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 11:40 AM

By Joe Battaglia

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio urged military aid for Ukraine following Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea.

"I welcome the fact that Vice President Biden is in the region this week to bring a message of reassurance to our allies and partners," Rubio wrote in a commentary in The Washington Post. "I hope those assurances include a specific and clear response to requests by Georgia and Ukraine for lethal military support from the United States."

Rubio wrote it's "shameful that even as Russia attempts to carve up Ukrainian territory, Ukraine’s request for weapons, intelligence sharing and other assistance has been turned down by the Obama administration."

Rubio urged that "additional military assets and even U.S. personnel" be deployed to Poland and other U.S. Baltic allies to guard against aggression by Moscow further into Europe.

Biden assured Poland President Bronislaw Komorowski that the U.S. would counter such a move by Putin with military action, the Post reported.

Rubio, in his commentary, countered critics that have said Crimea is not worth the United States further straining relations with Russia by intervening militarily.

"While it is best to avoid conflict whenever possible, history shows that illegitimate aggressions that go unchallenged are a virtual guarantee of even more dangerous conflict in the future," the senator wrote.

Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is the latest Republican in Washington to condemn Obama's reluctance to offer military support to Ukraine.

On Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain also said the United States should have gone beyond its offer of financial aid.

"While the steps taken so far by President Obama and the United States’ European allies are welcome, they clearly will not be enough in the face of a determined Russian effort to forcibly redraw Europe’s borders," Rubio wrote. "Putin’s annexation of Crimea must be met with immediate and meaningful consequences for his regime and those who benefit from it."

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