NATO's top military commander says the West should consider using all its tools to help Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists, including sending defensive weapons.
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove said on March 22 that he does not "think that any tool of [the] U.S. or any other nation's power should necessarily be off the table."
"Could [supplying Western lethal weapons to Ukraine] be destabilizing? The answer is yes. Also, inaction could be destabilizing," he said.
Breedlove's remarks came at a press conference after he was asked if he favors sending defensive weapons to Ukraine.
Breedlove said the West should respond to what he described as diplomatic, information, military, and economic tactics that were being used against Ukraine.
He didn't name Russia in his comments.
Breedlove added that NATO intelligence pointed to "disturbing" military developments on the ground in eastern Ukraine.
He expressed concerned over the implementation of a cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk in February between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Breedlove is NATO's supreme allied commander Europe and commander of the U.S. European Command.
With reporting by RFE/RL's Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels and Reuters