The head of Russia's Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday urged U.S. President Barack Obama to resist congressional pressure to arm Ukraine and stick to the anti-war principles that won him his Oval Office seat.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved by a 348-48 vote a resolution upping the pressure on Obama to provide lethal military aid to Ukraine to combat Russian "aggression."
Alexei Pushkov, who heads the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, told TASS that the resolution was a "provocation" toward Russia and that Obama would prove himself to be "no different from [Republican politicians] George W. Bush [jr.], John McCain, or Mitt Romney" if he approved it.
Obama ostensibly came to power on an anti-war doctrine, Pushkov said in comments to TASS, but added this had not stopped him from "starting a war in Syria, completely losing control over events in Iraq, and continuing the war in Afghanistan."
"If Obama remains true to this [anti-war] doctrine, if he shows himself to be realistic and understanding, then this resolution [to arm Ukraine] is an act of provocation toward Russia, a provocation toward nuclear powers that will lead to an escalation of the conflict," Pushkov said, noting the domestic pressure on the U.S. president to stray from his doctrine was "uniquely high."
The Obama administration in recent months has contemplated the possibility of providing lethal weapons to Ukraine amid widespread congressional calls to do so, but has warned that the move could lead to an escalation of violence in the region.