Lawmakers: Give Ukraine weapons faster

Lawmakers: Give Ukraine weapons faster

White House officials have sent night-vision goggles and anti-mortar radar equipment to Ukrainian fighters.

Lawmakers would rather send guns and anti-tank mines.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee lamented the slow U.S. response so far to the fighting in that region, saying the timid steps have allowed Russia to gain the upper hand.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the committee chairman, called the administration’s efforts so far “feckless, just feckless.”

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the panel’s senior Democrat, said U.S. officials “keep working on an aspirational basis while Russia works to take more land.”

Nearly three months ago, President Obama signed into law the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which authorized a host of economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion into eastern Ukraine and “defense articles, defense services, and training” to Ukrainian forces in the fight against the Russian advance.

Administration officials were scheduled to report back to lawmakers on potential transfer of weaponry last month, but State and Defense Department officials said that review is still underway.

Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told the committee Tuesday that officials still don’t have a timeline for when that review will finish, but that the U.S. is “meeting real military needs” of the Ukrainian forces with aid already being provided.

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