Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Please Support Common Dreams This #GivingTuesday

Our staff has grown and our coverage of the climate emergency, COVID-19, and rising authoritarianism has intensified over the last two years. But, our expenses during the pandemic have gone up as well. This has been one of the toughest years we’ve ever faced. Donations are down. Traffic to the website from Google and Facebook have inexplicably fallen off a cliff. If we have any chance of meeting our fundraising targets for the year, we need this to be the best #GivingTuesday ever. Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers ever make a donation. We're counting on you. Can you make that gift today to help Common Dreams end the year strong?

Please Help This #GivingTuesday -- Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers give. We’re counting on you. Please help Common Dreams end the year strong.

As Hawks Urge Obama to Send Weaponry to Ukraine, EU Officials Push for Peace

Austrian minister declares: 'Our goal must be a ceasefire, not an escalation'

Deirdre Fulton

Monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine. (Photo: OSCE Special Monitoring Mission/flickr/cc)

Even as some U.S. and European officials urged the Obama administration not to provide weaponry and further military assistance to Ukraine—among the options being weighed by the White House—the second-highest ranking U.S. diplomat warned on Friday that pressure to arm Kiev-backed government forces would increase if aggression from pro-Russian separatists persisted.

According to Reuters:

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told German radio (DLF) the United States was already working on supplying Kiev with non-lethal equipment, including $130 million worth of protective vests, night-vision goggles and other equipment.

"But if the aggression continues, I think there will be more and more pressure to give them other means to protect themselves," he said in the interview with DLF.

Indeed, House Speaker John Boehner and a group of top Democrats and Republicans on Thursday "stepped up the pressure" on President Barack Obama to send arms to Ukraine, saying in a letter that the so-called Minsk 2 agreement, which led to last month's cease-fire, have only consolidated Russian and separatists' gains, the Associated Press reports.

"Instead of escalating the war and fueling nationalist extremism, western powers should be using their leverage to wind it down. If they don’t, the consequences could be disastrous—far beyond Ukraine."
—Seumas Milne, The Guardian

"We urge you to quickly approve additional efforts to support Ukraine's efforts to defend its sovereign territory, including through the transfer of lethal defense weapons systems to the Ukrainian military," the letter read in part. 

However, ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in the Latvian capital of Riga on Friday, E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogheri insisted that the implementation of the peace deal brokered in Minsk last month "is the way to go forward."

Other officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz were also adamant in their opposition to sending further munitions.

"Our goal must be a ceasefire, not an escalation," Kurz reportedly said, adding that arms deliveries "would only stoke the fire."

But The Hill notes that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said last month he was "inclined" toward providing Ukraine with lethal weapons, and that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday he would "absolutely consider providing lethal aid."

Such assertions fly in the face of those claiming there is "no military solution" to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, whose ranks include Guardian columnist and associate editor Seumas Milne. 

"In the west, Ukraine—along with ISIS—is being used to revive the doctrines of liberal interventionism and even neo-conservatism, discredited on the killing fields of Iraq and Afghanistan," Milne wrote on Wednesday. "So far, Angela Merkel and François Hollande have resisted American pressure to arm Kiev. But when the latest Minsk ceasefire breaks down, as it surely will, there is a real risk that Ukraine's proxy conflict could turn into full-scale international war."

He continued: "The alternative is a negotiated settlement which guarantees Ukraine's neutrality, pluralism and regional autonomy. It may well be too late for that. But there is certainly no military solution. Instead of escalating the war and fueling nationalist extremism, western powers should be using their leverage to wind it down. If they don’t, the consequences could be disastrous—far beyond Ukraine."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

2.5 Million Nurses Demand UN Probe Into 'Covid-19 Criminals' Blocking Patent Waiver

The European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, and Singapore "must be investigated for blocking a faster global vaccine rollout leading to the loss of countless lives."

Jake Johnson ·


WHO, South Africa Urge Nations to Lift 'Naive' Omicron Travel Bans

"The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic."

Brett Wilkins ·


EU Joins Rights Group in Condemning Israel's 'Day of Destruction' of Palestinian Homes

"Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace."

Brett Wilkins ·


GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo