Obama, Merkel meet on Ukraine

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Germany is opposed to the idea of arming Ukraine to help it deal with pro-Russian rebels in the country's east -- but President Barack Obama is said to be considering doing just that.

The potential dispute is believed to be one of the issues they're discussing at a White House meeting that began at mid-morning.

Germany's Angela Merkel is also briefing Obama on upcoming talks aimed at reviving a peace plan for Ukraine.

The U.S. and Europe have largely been working together in their response to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. And that raises the prospect that the possible divide on lethal aid is merely a tactic to push Russia's Vladimir Putin to accept a peace plan.

Opponents of arming Ukraine believe that could open a proxy war between Washington and Moscow. Merkel and France's Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') insist the only way to end the conflict is through diplomacy.

%@AP Links

038-c-21-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"of Russian aggression"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the meeting comes as President Obama considers calls to send arms to Ukraine's military to help blunt a rebel offensive. (9 Feb 2015)

<<CUT *038 (02/09/15)££ 00:21 "of Russian aggression"

156-a-12-(British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, with reporters)-"nation to take"-British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says his country will not consider sending the type of military aid that the U.S. is now debating, but it will not stand in the way. (9 Feb 2015)

<<CUT *156 (02/09/15)££ 00:12 "nation to take"

APPHOTO DCPM102: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, is greeted by Office of the Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Peter A. Selfridge, left, upon her arrival at the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, for her scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama. The leaders are expected to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and arming Ukrainian fighters to wage a more effective battle against Russian-backed separatists. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (9 Feb 2015)

<<APPHOTO DCPM102 (02/09/15)££

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