The U.S. President, Barack Obama, has supported the German diplomatic efforts to contain the Russian designs on Ukraine. He thinks military alternatives to be symbolic and fraught with grave consequences. Talking after a meeting with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, Obama said that the Russian aggression on Ukraine has strengthened partnership among the U.S., Germany, and other allies of the world. He stressed diplomatic solution to the issue and hence the need to continue diplomatic efforts. He, however, sounded categorical when he said that the 21st century would not permit redrawing of the European borders by the barrel of the gun.
Talking about punitive options, he opined that it was designed to increase the economic costs of the Russian overtures in Ukraine. Russia being extraordinarily powerful militarily, the extent of its border with Ukraine, and the history of relationship between the two countries make it improbable for Ukraine to take head on and rebuff Russian military actions. However, the international community cannot stand mute in the event of the violations of territorial integrity and sovereignty of a country. The German Chancellor, Dr Merkel, concurred with Obama, and opined that it was difficult to contain Vladimir Putin from extending support to the separatist groups in Ukraine by imposing economic sanctions. However, if all these measures are not effective, the U.S. and European nations would have to sit together and thrash out alternative options, she added. The resigned tone of the press conference of Obama and Merkel was in sharp contrast to those who favor greater armed support to Ukraine. However, Obama was of the opinion that even this option was limited to helping Ukraine fight the separatists groups rather than Russia. Obama, nevertheless, hinted about the use of all other means including the possibility of lethal defensive weapons in the wake of failure of the diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions. Ukraine cannot fight and defeat Russian army, and hence, there is the need to look for other options to bolster Ukrainian defenses.
President Obama further added that providing weapons to Ukraine to fight separatists groups should be taken as the continuation of the existing support rather than an offensive escalation. It is no point in talking about more and more lethal defensive weapons, but efforts should be directed towards thwarting and dissuading Russia from usurping more and more Ukrainian territory. Both leaders agreed that diplomatic efforts were the most viable options for restoring peace between Russia and Ukraine.