Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) sent a letter to President Obama this week asking him to address reports that he secretly promised German Chancellor Angela Merkel not to provide Ukraine with arms.
Turner, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said in the March 11 letter that he was “deeply troubled” by the reported agreement.
“According to these reports, you unilaterally agreed not to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine, despite the country’s continued efforts to defeat Russian-backed separatists,” he said.
“I ask that you immediately provide Congress with any and all details pertaining to your negotiations – formal, informal, unilateral, and otherwise – with German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the withholding of U.S. lethal assistance to Ukraine,” he said.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that Germany’s ambassador to the U.S., Peter Wittig, said Obama agreed not to send arms to Ukraine in a meeting with Merkel last month.
Meanwhile, administration officials have said publicly that the decision to send arms to Ukraine to help it fend off Russian-supported attacks is under “active consideration.”
Turner called on the president to “reconsider your position on lethal assistance and provide Ukraine with the resources it needs to defend itself,” he wrote.
Turner also reminded the president that he signed the Ukraine Freedom Support of 2014 in December, which would authorize sending deadly weapons to to Ukraine immediately.
“The United States cannot continue to stand idly by and allow this deteriorating situation to go on,” he said.