Durbin calls for limited military aid to Ukraine

Mar 24, 2014

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is calling for limited military aid to Ukraine. But as IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, Durbin says America can only do so much.

Russia's invasion and annexation of part of Ukraine has prompted a muted response from America — mainly economic sanctions targeted at Russia's elites. Durbin says he hopes that will at least slow down Russian President Vladimir Putin. But he says there are limits to what the U.S. can do.

"The bottom line is we cannot defend every nation on Earth. We are duty bound to defend our NATO allies, as they are bound to defend us. ... But ultimately, they have to put in the reforms and make the sacrifices that are necessary."

That said, Durbin does support some aid, including military. He says Ukraine's new prime minister has made some startlingly basic requests, including food, fuel, tires, and sleeping bags. Ukraine has also asked for small arms for self defense, something Durbin says he would not rule out.