Heightened Russian aggression over the last three weeks of January in Ukraine has led to 224 fatalities and over 540 injuries.
World leaders have debated how Western nations should aid Ukraine.
The White House has considered sending weapons to assist with Ukrainian security in the hopes of defending against Russian separatist aggression.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel made her opinion clear about this possibility at the Munich Security conference on Saturday, Feb. 7, saying, “I can’t conceive of a situation where better armaments for the Ukrainian army would so impress President Putin that he believes he will militarily lose.”
Vice President Joe Biden seems more open to the possibility of sending weapons to Ukraine, saying, “We will continue to provide Ukraine with security assistance. Not to encourage war but to allow Ukraine to defend itself.
“Let me be clear: We do not believe there is a military solution in Ukraine,” Biden continued. “But let me be equally clear: We do not believe Russia has the right to do what they’re doing.”
These conflicting opinions have led to some discrepancy regarding a potential rift between the U.S. and the European Union.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the cooperation between the U.S. and the EU: “Let me assure everybody, there is no division – there is no split.
“We all agree that this challenge will not end through military force,” Kerry continued. “We are united in our diplomacy. But the longer it takes, the more the off-ramps are avoided, the more we will be forced to raise the costs on Russia and its proxies.”
Many have emphasized a solution is necessary. According to Ukraine’s military spokesperson, Volodymyr Polyovy, “Through parts of the state border, which is not under Ukrainian control there is an active flow of weapons, ammunition and fuel from Russia to supply the rebels. We have seen an increase in the number of tanks, armored vehicles, multiple rocket launchers in around Debaltseva and Hrantine,” Euronews reported.
Biden has frequently spoken out about the current situation, firmly telling Putin to “get out of Ukraine,” according to CNN.
Russia will continue to face strict economic sanctions if the country’s military continues to interfere in Ukraine. While Biden stated at the Munich conference the United States was not trying to ruin the Russian economy with the sanctions, he advised that future action from President Putin in Ukraine would only make the sanctions worse.
Editor’s Note: Information from CNN, Euronews and The Wall Street Journal was used in this report.