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.
Huseyin Ozgurgun says his government supports reunification talks with Greek Cypriots
'It's going to take more to win. We're gonna win but we all need to do more,' Pentagon chief says
Saudi, Qatar, UAE and Turkey foreign ministers are due to travel to France to discuss situation in Syria
European Commission proposes to lift the visa requirements for Turkish citizens on condition that Ankara fulfils criteria set by the EU
'The defense ministry is taking a range of measures with the aim of countering the build-up of NATO forces in close proximity to Russia's borders,' defense minister says
On Tuesday night NATO has announced that it will allow Israel to open a permanent office at its headquarters in Brussels
Kenyan authorities have uncovered a terror cell Linked to ISIL that is suspected of plotting a “biological attack” on the East African nation and recruiting university students to Libya and Syria.
An Albanian court has sentenced nine defendants to jail sentences of up to 18 years on Tuesday for recruiting people to fight in Syria's civil war.
Agreement 'is continuing to fray, particularly in some areas in and around Aleppo', White House cautions
ISIL had briefly overtaken Tel Skuf in 2014, but town later fell back into hands of peshmerga forces
New data says Sub-Saharan region feeling effects of drought, commodity price shocks
ISIL militants killed a U.S. Navy SEAL in northern Iraq on Tuesday after blasting through Kurdish defenses and overrunning a town in the biggest offensive in the area for months, officials said.
'I hope that by the end of May, when we meet at the G7 summit, the implementation of Greece's programme is positively assessed,' EU president says
Republican front-runner Trump is expected to clinch party’s nomination in California primary in June
WhatsApp asked for reconsideration of ruling that saw the blocking of the app across Brazil
Yosef Haim Ben David who was the ringleader who burned a Palestinian teen has been sentenced life in jail and was also sentenced to an additional 20 years for other crimes