But Ms. Merkel warned that sending weapons would only lead to an escalation of the conflict and that Mr. Putin couldn’t be expected to back down. She said the West had to be patient, noting her own experience growing up behind the Iron Curtain in Communist East Germany and the fact that it took decades to end the Cold War.
“The problem is I cannot imagine a situation in which an improved arming of the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily,” Ms. Merkel said. “This cannot be won militarily. That is the bitter truth. The international community must think of something else.”