While Democrats are in the majority in the Senate, the Congress can not adopt the pro-Ukrainian laws, so Ukraine will get weapons only if the Republicans gain control of the Senate.
Both President Barack Obama and Germany"s Angela Merkel refused to provide Ukraine with weapons not to provoke Moscow to further aggravation of the conflict: "Having weapon, Ukraine might think that a military solution does exist. Unfortunately, Mr. Putin does not agree that there is no military solution … Putin has used military escalation to achieve his victory is the form of a dissected Ukraine and a frozen conflict that will destabilize Ukraine for the foreseeable future and deny it EU and NATO membership. Obama and Merkel could not be more wrong: a military decision existed. Putin saw it and grabbed it," writes the columnist.
Senator of the Democratic Party Ben Nelson said that in case of Obama"s inaction the Congress would have to take the initiative. Now Congress is working on two bills that involve arming of Ukraine.
The draft law on providing Ukraine with security provides help in "neutralizing separatist military offensive to attacks on civilians and military aviation in eastern Ukraine" and authorizes the President of the United States "to provide appropriate and necessary assistance for the protection of democracy and sovereignty of Ukraine". Another bill to support freedom in Ukraine provides military and security assistance to Ukraine, giving it the status of NATO ally without membership in the Alliance and introduces additional sanctions against Russia.
"The growing support of Democratic members of Congress, added to the already strong support from the Republican caucus, is placing pressure on Obama to drop his opposition to military assistance for Ukraine, but everyone understands that Obama has dug in his heels." says Gregory. "Ukraine will get real military assistance only through congressional action."
However, if the majority will support the Democrats, they will continue to block the bill.
"Congress, unlike the president, has understood and been shamed by the lament in Proroshenko"s speech to Congress: "One cannot win a war with blankets – or peace." Maybe our so-called dysfunctional Congress can actually do something. Poroshenko understood that Congress was Ukraine"s only chance. He thanked the U.S. Congress for its support of Ukraine, notably leaving out the president."
Meanwhile, the sanctions the West applied against Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine, worsen the Russian economy, says Washington Post. There is an outflow of investments, inflation is growing and the Russian entrepreneurial elite warns against repetition of the economic mistakes that destroyed the Soviet Union.
"But there is little evidence that the mounting economic pressures since the March annexation of Ukraine"s Crimean Peninsula will soften Putin"s policies towards Ukraine and other nations in the former Soviet orbit. Putin still enjoys sky-high approval ratings, and ordinary Russians say they are ready to make sacrifices in a battle with the West." says Michael Birnbaum.
Meanwhile, the fears of Russia"s wealthy elite have been heightened following the mid-September house arrest of one of their own, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, on charges of money laundering. Associates say the detention is a signal that one of the central tenets of the Putin era has come to an end: that corporate titans would be free to make vast sums of money so long as they steered clear of politics. Yevtushenkov adhered to the bargain, but his refusal to give up his stake in a profitable oil company, Bashneft, may have made him a target, writes the newspaper.
His arrest was criticized by some of the most powerful Russian oligarchs, who fear that the government can take away some key companies from the owners. Even high-ranking officials such as the head of the Russian Sberbank German Gref and Minister of Economy Alexey Ulyukayev said that after the arrest that the decision would deal a blow to his nation"s business climate.
"Some analysts say that the new economic realities may force Putin to moderate his stance on Ukraine, the key driving aspect of the broader conflict with the West… But others expect that Russia will simply slide into a period of economic malaise that is unpleasant but that does not force fundamental changes in the nation"s basic financial planning," the newspaper said.