Boehner, bipartisan lawmakers urge Obama to arm Ukraine

Ukraine: Separatists blocking mine rescuers
Ukraine: Separatists blocking mine rescuers


    Ukraine: Separatists blocking mine rescuers


Ukraine: Separatists blocking mine rescuers 02:03

Washington (CNN)House Speaker John Boehner and a group of senior bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday urging him to arm Ukrainian forces.

"In the wake of a cease-fire agreement that appears only to have consolidated Russian and separatist gains since the first Minsk agreement, and in anticipation of the near certainty that Russia and its separatist proxies continue their efforts to destabilize Ukraine and Seize additional territory, we urge you to quickly approve additional efforts to support Ukraine¹s efforts to defend its sovereign territory, including through the transfer of lethal, defensive weapons systems to the Ukrainian military," the letter states.
In addition to Boehner, the letter was signed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and several senior Republicans, including the GOP Chairs of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Appropriations and Intelligence committees.
Three senior House Democrats also signed the letter -- the top Democrats on the Armed Services, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels.
    Congress passed a bipartisan aid package for Ukraine in December, but the letter notes "the administration has not utilized the authorities provided in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act to provide defensive military systems to the Ukrainian government."