Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

USA presses first-ever sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine

USA presses first-ever sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine

On February 17, President Poroshenko said Ukraine would receive more aid from the us, beyond Javelins, in the framework of military-technical cooperation.

State Department makes determination approving Javelin missile sale to UkrainePoltorak said the weapons would help the Ukrainian military respond to attacks that he said Russian Federation was responsible for coordinating.

"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 agency noted.

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In anticipation of the sale, the United States has already started training Ukraine's forces on how to use them.

"In order to get such weapons, we need to have appropriately prepared places for their storage, because there are requirements for that".

However, Russia has repeatedly warned against supplies of lethal arms to Ukraine, saying that such actions would exacerbate the conflict in the country's eastern Donbass region.

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The White House initially approved a plan to sell the missiles to Ukraine in December, but no weapons have been delivered because the administration hadn't completed the formal process. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said back in December that any weapons provided by the USA would be used to protect Ukrainian solider and civilians. "That's why the decision by the United States to supply lethal weapons is important for us", he said. Sending lethal weapons to Ukraine also creates the troubling possibility that American arms could kill Russian soldiers, a situation that could thrust the two nuclear-armed nations closer to direct confrontation.

"Unfortunately the issue of giving lethal weapons was under consideration for a long time", Poltorak said in an interview with Reuters. United States officials discussed Javelin missiles as well as anti-aircraft weapons as a form of lethal aid for Kiev. The shoulder-fired weapon is armed with a so-called "fire and forget" guided missile system, designed for use by infantry units.

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