The administration decided early this year against sending Ukraine deadly weaponry, such as artillery or portable air-defense systems, for fear of escalating the more than year-old conflict or provoking Russia. But administration officials say that the new radar doesn’t count as offensive or lethal aid, and so wouldn’t require a policy shift.
The Pentagon is moving toward providing Ukraine with bigger, longer-range radar to help it counter artillery being used by Russia-backed rebels, as U.S. military officials signal a growing willingness to bolster the country’s defenses.
The proposal still requires approval from the White House, which is considering another package of nonlethal assistance for Ukraine. The deliberations are taking place alongside rising pressure on Washington to better help Kiev counter a rebellion that continues to regularly claim lives, despite a five-month-old cease fire.
Ukraine’s military “would benefit from having more counter-battery radar as well as more capable radar,” one senior Obama administration official said.