US Approves Sale of 210 Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles to Ukraine
03 March, 2018, 06:40 | Author: Nina Hammond
Following a report in December that the U.S. State Department was aiming to provide Ukraine with "enhanced defensive capabilities" in order to help "defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity and deter further aggression", officials this week have reportedly finalized the deal and the proposition is headed to Congress. It came the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country has developed new nuclear weapons he claims can't be intercepted by an enemy.
Officials from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon directorate overseeing global arms deals with the USA, notified Congress Thursday on the proposed sale of the FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile.
In January, Ukraine's Chief of General Staff Gen. Viktor Muzhenko said at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels that preparations for the storage of weapons were underway.
ABC Newsreported the sale signals a significant increase in USA military support for Ukraine. Ukraine accuses Russian Federation of sending the tanks, and the USA says Moscow is arming, training and fighting alongside the separatists. Previously, the USA has provided Ukraine with support equipment and training, and has let private companies sell some small arms like rifles.
"We have repeatedly talked about arms deliveries to Ukraine". The shoulder-fired weapon is armed with a so-called "fire and forget" guided missile system, designed for use by infantry units.
Meanwhile, Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, confirmed last August that the supply of U.S. lethal weapons would nearly certainly result in an escalation of the conflict.
Heavy weaponry, such as tanks, have been a critical part of Russian advancement in Ukrainian territory. President Barack Obama also considered sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, but left office without doing so. The Trump administration has insisted those sanctions will stay in place until Moscow gives up the Crimean Peninsula.
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