World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday Ukraine did not need additional military assistance to help fight insurgents in the eastern part of the country but a Russian invasion would raise "a different set of questions."
Obama's comments came after NATO said on Wednesday Russia had massed some 20,000 troops on Ukraine's border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian mission to invade.
At a news conference at the conclusion of a U.S.-Africa summit in Washington, Obama was asked whether the United States would reconsider sending lethal aid to Ukraine.
"Well keep in mind that the Russian army is a lot bigger than the Ukrainian army. So the issue here is not whether the Ukrainian army has some additional weaponry," Obama said, noting that the separatists had not been able to match the Ukrainian army's strength so far despite causing a lot of violence.
"Now if you start seeing an invasion by Russia, that's obviously a different set of questions. We're not there yet," he said.
The White House said Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday about the situation on the border with Russia.
"The two leaders expressed concern with Russian statements suggesting a role for Russian 'peacekeepers' in Ukraine, with Russia's ongoing military buildup on Ukraine's border, and with Russia's continuing transfer of weapons to Russian proxies in Ukraine," the White House said in a statement.
Obama said the United States would continue to work on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis to determine what Ukraine needed to defend itself against separatists who were backed by Moscow.
Meanwhile, U.S. and European sanctions had succeeded in hurting the Russian economy.
"The economy has ground to a halt," Obama said, noting capital flight from Russia.
'Macedonia should be ready to stop the entrance of the refugees on its border,' Austrian FM says
Diplomatic sources suggest that EU foreign ministers meeting Monday in Brussels are now expected to approve ending these sanctions completely
According to Czech president, the only way to solve the ongoing refugee crisis is to fall back upon deportation
Tunisian government is preparing to consequences of potential foreign military intervention in the southeastern neighbor
Many refugees who have come to the Nordic country are now having second thoughts
Manuel Valls believes German chancellor's policy is 'unsustainable in long-term'
Crimea has been swept by a fresh wave of home raids and arrests against Crimean Tatars
French finance minister says monetary union is to be deepened and nobody, meaning UK, can oppose it
Berlin 'puts Russia first under the obligation' to implement nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria
Greece has one month to 'establish an action plan to remedy the deficiencies... (and) within three months of the same date, it shall report on the implementation'
'Our camp at Kidal was attacked by terrorists early Friday morning. We fought back but two peacekeepers were killed and 30 others injured,' a source says
About 800 farmers from Crete clashed with police guarding the entrance to the Agriculture Ministry
‘We feel that sets back the overall effort, what we're trying to achieve on the ground,’ says State Dept.
A Russian delegation headed by deputy PM visits Baghdad hoping to cultivate Iraq market for fighter jets and military hardware
Lawmakers will begin to meet on Tuesday to create zones where FARC members will be able to surrender their arms.
War of words erupt after Russia claims US struck Aleppo