US Announces Sale of Lethal Aid to Ukraine

US Announces Sale of Lethal Aid to Ukraine

Lethal Aid to Ukraine

The State Department formally approved the sale Thursday of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, in a move long expected to upset Russia. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, said Ukraine has asked to buy the missiles and 37 launchers, at a cost of around $47 million.

Late last year, President Donald Trump indicated he would be agreeable to moving forward with the sale of Javelin missiles to Kyiv.

Congress must sign off on the sale before the deal can be made complete, which means the dollar figure and progress of the sale could change. But so far, lawmakers have indicated widespread support for the move. The 2018 defence policy budget allows for increased funding to support Ukraine. Full Story


Lethal Aid to Ukraine Approved

ABC News first broke the news of the sale in December when President Trump approved the plan and began informal notifications with Congress about it. With Thursday’s formal notification, Congress now has 30 days to sink the deal or it will go through, which is expected.

“There is what I view as an artificial distinction between lethal and non-lethal military equipment,” Ambassador Kurt Volker said in Washington on Monday, comparing anti-tank missiles to a counter-battery radar that improves targeting to attack and kill an enemy firing mortars. “That’s non-lethal and an anti-tank missile, which sits in a box and doesn’t get used unless you have a tank coming at you, is lethal. Both are clearly defensive weapons.”

The sale is intended to boost Ukrainian military forces as they continue to fight Russian-backed separatists, according to U.S. officials, who argue the U.S. is only supporting Ukraine’s right to self-defence. Full Story

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