WASHINGTON — A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior.
Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites "serious" violations by Russia of agreements not to interfere in its neighbor's civil strife.
Blinken says he won't describe his private discussions with the president or how he'd counsel Secretary of State John Kerry if confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Kerry's deputy.
But he says he believes the U.S. ought to consider strengthening Ukrainian forces as a message to Moscow. He said: "That's something we should be looking at."
Providing defensive military equipment to Ukraine has broad support in Congress. The administration has thus far balked at such assistance.