World Leaders Face Challenge of Fighting Proxy War against Russia in Ukraine

As pressure mounts in the U.S. to arm Ukraine, French and German leaders meet in Moscow hoping to negotiate a cease-fire.

By Anika Smith Published on February 6, 2015

As the U.S. considers sending arms to Ukraine, concerns grow about how Putin will respond in Russia. This post will be updated as events unfold.

CBS and Fox News both report that President Obama has pressure from Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to arm Ukraine, a move that comes as Secretary of State Kerry meets with Ukrainian leaders. EU diplomats called it a “bluff” and told the Telegraph anonymously that “we don’t see much evidence that President Obama has much enthusiasm.”

It is unclear what Putin will do in response to such a step. An ex-NATO chief warns that one possible outcome is a Russian invasion of the Baltic states.

After spending yesterday in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande travel to Moscow today to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to push for peace. Hollande told journalists in Paris before he left that a cease-fire in Ukraine is “a first step” but that it won’t be enough. Merkel is more grim, telling the press that “we can only do what we can to resolve this conflict and especially to end the bloodshed.”

Russian media maintain that Merkel and Hollande are visiting to discuss Putin’s 9-page peace plan without consulting the U.S.

Pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian authorities agreed today on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the epicenter of fighting in eastern Ukraine

Meanwhile, Ukraine devalued its currency by 31 percent in a move that earned praise from investors and may have gained the country a possible bailout extension from the International Monetary Fund.

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