Ukraine should be provided with weapons – former US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta

Ukraine should be provided with weapons – former US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta
17 September 2016

Ukraine should be provided with defensive weapons, and Russia should be dealt with from a position of strength, said the 23rd United States Secretary of Defence (2006-2011) Leon Panetta at the 13th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting (YES).

 

“I think it is very important for Ukraine to not only continue to strengthen its economy, and its government, but to also strengthen its military. The United States, obviously, along with NATO, is providing trainers, equipment, and training exercises. But I would take the  next step, and provide defensive weapons to Ukraine, to make very clear to Russia that if it tries  to do anything militarily, it will have to pay a price”, he said.

According to Leon Panetta, today’s Russia should be dealt with from a position of strength. “When you look into Putin’s eyes, you see only “KGB, KGB, KGB”. Clearly, that background plays an important role in his motivation. You cannot deal with a bully from a position of weakness. I have dealt with the Russians, I have dealt with their intelligence people, I have dealt with the leadership there, I think you can deal with them, but you have to deal with them from strength”, he said.

The former US Defence Secretary explained that for him a position of strength means a strong army, a strong diplomatic arm and united international efforts.

“We have to build strong alliances that make very clear to Russia that they are not just dealing with the United States or with Ukraine, but they are dealing with a coalition of Nations”, he concluded

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Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey Sachs
Professor, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, 16th YES Annual Meeting, 2019
«Societies have to spend most of their time looking forward.»