The former U.S. Secretary of Defense from Obama’s administration (2011-2013) and the former head of the CIA (2009-2011), Leon Panetta, said that the U.S. should provide weapons to Ukraine to deter Russia. He made this statement in his speech at the plenary session of the annual Yalta European Strategy meeting.
In his opinion, the provision of arms to Ukraine would be a symbolic step, and would be a sign to Russia that its continued pressure on Ukraine is not acceptable. "I consider it necessary to take the next step and to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons," the official said.
"This must be done in order to make Russia understand that if they take the next step, they will pay the price for it," he explained.
Panetta also emphasized that the West should continue supporting the political reforms in Ukraine.