U.S. approves possible sale of javelin missiles worth $47 million to Ukraine

U.S. approves possible sale of javelin missiles worth $47 million to Ukraine

Ukraine has long sought to boost its defenses against Russian-backed separatists armed with tanks that have rolled through eastern Ukraine during violence that has killed more than 10,000 since 2014.

The State Department has officially notified Congress of the tentative $47 million deal.

The Trump administration has approved a sale of 210 anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, the State Department announced Thursday.

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"The Javelin system will help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements", the Pentagon said.

Read alsoPoroshenko thanks US for decision to sell Javelins to UkraineThe report says it is not clear when the first supplies of anti-tank missiles will be delivered to Ukraine, but Poltorak said preparations were already underway in terms of selecting personnel and safe storage for an expected delivery this year. Military officials tell the network news the sale is meant to bolster Ukraine's military forces in the fight against separatists. The U.S. has sanctions imposed against Russian entities and individuals due to the attack on Ukraine.

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.

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Since the latter stages of the Obama administration, congressional defense authorizers have called on the United States to provide defensive lethal assistance to Ukraine. Ukraine accuses Russian Federation of sending the tanks, and the US says Moscow is arming, training and fighting alongside the separatists. "That's why the decision by the United States to supply lethal weapons is important for us", he said.

The FGM-148 Javelin is a US-made fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile in used in dozen of countries around the world. "As soon as Ukraine receives lethal weapons, an armed conflict would automatically be unleashed", Zakharchenko warned.

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