- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sen. Kelly Ayotte called on President Obama to provide “lethal assistance” to Ukraine after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of Congress on Thursday.

“President Poroshenko’s address to the U.S. Congress today was a direct and impassioned appeal for American leadership and help in the face of Putin’s aggression,” the New Hampshire Republican said in a statement.

While speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, Ms. Ayotte warned that a failure to answer Ukraine’s plea for military aid would destroy America’s reputation of strong international leadership.

“If the administration ignores Poroshenko’s request, it will represent a historic failure of U.S. leadership that will embolden aggressors like Putin, risk greater conflict, and undermine U.S. national security interests,” Ms. Ayotte said.

Ms. Ayotte, who is rumored to be considering a bid for the 2016 presidency, urged the administration to implement tougher sanctions on Russia and provide real military assistance, not just humanitarian aid.

“Democracies must stand together, and I renew my call for the administration and our European allies to impose the toughest possible sanctions against Russia, provide long-requested weapons, share real-time intelligence with Kyiv, and bolster further NATO preparedness in Eastern Europe.”

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