Two top U.S. lawmakers have called for the United States to arm Ukraine in its battle against pro-Russian separatists and Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
Senator Robert Menendez (Democrat-New Jersey), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Ukraine needed arms to fight off what he called a Russian "invasion."
Menendez, speaking on CNN from Kyiv, said Washington should provide Ukraine "with the types of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon [Russian President Vladimir] Putin."
Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona), asked rhetorically on CBS television: "Can't we help these people defend themselves? This is not an incursion. This is an invasion."
The Obama administration refuses to call Russian activity in Ukraine an invasion.
Moscow denies claims by Western countries and NATO that there are at least 1,000 Russian forces in Ukraine.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP