McConnell slams Obama’s handling of Ukraine, calls for sending arms
© Lauren Schneiderman

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTalk of Trump pardons reverberates on Sunday shows Trump backers eye GOP primary challenges for Flake, Heller Senate spending plan boosts House moderates MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday he thinks the Obama administration should be sending arms to Ukraine.

“Here is what I would do: I would be sending arms to the Ukrainian army,” McConnell said to the hometown radio station, WMST. “I would provide serious assistance to the Ukrainians so that they could defend themselves.”

So far, the Obama administration has given Ukraine a $1 billion loan guarantee, sanctioned leaders involved in the annexation of Ukraine and pledged non-military aid to Ukraine.

McConnell said the administration should be doing more to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t take further action and invade more neighboring territory.

“I would renew the discussions that the president just dropped, the idea of missile defense and the Czech Republic and Poland at the beginning of his term as a sort of a gesture to the Russians,” McConnell said. “I would reengage with the Pols and the Czechs and see if we can't get missile defense back in those countries. All of those steps would indicate without sending in a single American soldier that the U.S. is serious in standing up to this kind of new form of Russian aggression.”

On Thursday, Obama announced a tentative deal that could deescalate the situation.

McConnell slammed Obama’s foreign relations efforts general, saying his weak stances in Iran and Syria gave Putin the signal that it was fine to invade Ukraine.

“You are hard-pressed to name a single place in the world where we are in better shape now than we were when he came to office,” McConnell said.