Poltorak: Javelin supply heralds new era of cooperation with US

Deadly The Javelin anti-tank missile is mobile and lethal used to take out heavy armor- and will soon be in the hands of Ukraine's military as they face down Russian forces

The deal is valued at $47 million and needs congressional approval next.

The US State Department made a decision to approve the sale of hundreds of Javelin anti-tank missiles and missile launch units to the Ukrainian government on Thursday, according to an announcement from the Pentagon's arms exporting agency.

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.

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.

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Ukraine has requested to buy 210 Javelin Missiles and 37 Javelin Command Launch Units (CLUs) (includes two Javelin CLUs to be used as spares). Previously, the US has provided Ukraine with support equipment and training, and has let private companies sell some small arms like rifles.

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. "That's why the decision by the United States to supply lethal weapons is important for us", he said. The shoulder-fired weapon is armed with a so-called "fire and forget" guided missile system, designed for use by infantry units. "We don't regard that as the behavior of a responsible global player". Yanukovych denied the allegations that he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2014.

Although the portable anti-tank missiles being sold to Ukraine can kill, proponents for granting them have long argued they are considered "defensive" because the Ukrainians would use them to defend their territory and deter the Russians, not to attack a foreign country or seize new territory. The Trump administration has insisted those sanctions will stay in place until Moscow gives up the Crimean Peninsula.

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