US State Dept approves delivery of Javelin missile system to Ukraine

Госдеп утвердил поставки Javelin в Украину

Congress will now have 30 days to approve or block the weapons sale.

The approval to further arm Ukraine to defend itself dates to Russia's 2014 annexation of the country.

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that the sale of 210 Javelin missiles and 37 Javelin Command Launch Units to Ukraine had been approved.

U.S. government employees and contractors will help transport the weapons and train Ukraine's forces, who are fighting a Russian-backed insurgency in the east of the country, to use them. Since Russia annexed part of the country, separatists the US believes to be backed by Russia have fought a bloody three-year war against Kiev.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency also said in its official notice that "this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Ukraine".

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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.

"The need for the adoption of this appeal is stipulated by the urgent need to ensure an end to Russia's political repression against Ukrainian citizens as a result of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine and the release of political prisoners - citizens of Ukraine, as well as strict observance of the norms of worldwide humanitarian law in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, as well as some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions", the explanatory note says.

Read alsoPoroshenko thanks USA 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.

Raytheon and Lockheed Martin will be the primary contractors on the deal, with work set to occur in Tucson, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla.

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