The US is examining the option of supplying “lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine if a peace deal is not reached to end the crisis in the east of the country, Barack Obama has said.

In a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the US President blamed Russia for the continued conflict in eastern Ukraine and said that sending weapons to Ukraine was one option, but reaffirmed his commitment to finding a diplomatic solution.

The comments come ahead of four-way peace talks in Minsk, and amid renewed fighting between the pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian military for control of the area around the town of Debaltseve.

Meanwhile, EU ministers agreed to postpone imposing further sanctions against Russia in a bid to give the peace talks a better chance of success.

Obama has come under growing pressure from US officials to supply arms to Ukraine in order to help it maintain its borders from an increasingly aggressive Russia that is attempting to reassert its dominance over eastern Europe.

Russia denies ending troops into Ukraine or supplying the rebels with heavy artillery and other arms despite the continued stream of photographs and videos showing Russian troops and convoys of Russian military equipment within the area.

More than 5,300 people have been killed in the continued fighting, with over 1.5 million displaced from their homes.

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  1. Hi,
    “Ukraine crisis: US may supply arms to Ukraine”. Listening to Mr. Hammond and his opposition counterpart Mr. Alexander on Ukraine who in my opinion miss the point. We have an ethnic problem where one part of a land will not live with the other, similar to the Irish problem. In Ukraine, Ukrainians who have experience with fascism and fear its recreance and Ukrainians who want a Western style of life and EU money. Russian supports its ethnic population and America and the EU and Nato support the rest. Mr. Hammond calls a provocation when a Russian bomber aircraft flies down the English channel but does not mention Nato plans have been bussing of Russian border for some time. The economic sanctions have damaged the Western economies as that of Russia. Mr. Hammond claps his hands on the low oil prices but forget this will corrupt the Scottish economy. With the government policies we see a recurrence of the Irish problem and we must know the Russians do not want a Mr. Cameron HSBC based economy. All in all a parliamentary statement of low intellect.