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Former Senator Joe Lieberman: Send Weapons to Ukraine

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Chion Wolf
/
WNPR
Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman expressed support for sending arms to Ukraine.
"If we give [Ukraine] the weapons to defend themselves, it actually raises the prospects that the cease-fire will hold."<br><em>Former Sen. Joe Lieberman</em>

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have resulted in a cease-fire which is set to begin Sunday. But there's still a long ways to go before a lasting peace can exist between the two countries.

Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman doesn't think the cease-fire will hold. He told CNN that the U.S. should send weapons to Ukrainian fighters to help counter Russian-backed troops and President Vladamir Putin.

"I think if we give them the weapons to defend themselves, it actually raises the prospects that the cease-fire will hold because it creates a little more balance on the ground and creates a bit of a disincentive for Putin and the separatists to keep moving through eastern Ukraine," said Lieberman.

Alexei Pushkov, a Russian member of parliament and ally of Putin, reportedly told his country's foreign affairs committee that U.S. arms in Ukraine could "expand the war and turn it into a real threat to the whole European security system."

Those sentiments have been expressed elsewhere in the Russian government:

"Now is the time for the United States to provide more significant defensive weapons to the Ukrainian military."<br><em>Sen. Chris Murphy</em>

Lieberman said that if Putin did respond by escalating actions in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. can resort to what it's already doing. "Our response I think is to ratchet up the sanctions and hurt his economy even more because they're already suffering as a result of the drop in the price of oil," said Lieberman.

His replacement in the Senate, Democrat Chris Murphy has also called for the U.S. to send "defensive weapons" to Ukraine. Murphy serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

"I always support peaceful means of settling conflicts first, but the Russians have made clear that they have no interest in bargaining and are intent on continuing their invasion of Ukraine," Murphy wrote in a statement. "Now is the time for the United States to provide more significant defensive weapons to the Ukrainian military to protect the Ukrainian people and impose a cost on Russia’s blatant aggression."

As part of the cease-fire, Ukraine agreed to terms on a $40 billion aid package, nearly half of which will come from the International Monetary Fund.

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.

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