The Trump administration has approved the commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine which is fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. The administration approved the sale of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems and associated equipment to the country at a value of USD 41.5 million, reported the Washington Post.
However, it has not yet moved to approve heavier arms requested by the Ukraine’s government, including Javelin anti-tank missiles. Such sales were authorized by Congress three years back in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act but the Obama administration never made a decision to follow through.
The decision whether to allow lethal arms sales to Ukraine had been sitting on Trump’s desk for months. According to the Washington Post who quoted several experts and officials as saying reported that Trump’s chosen option was calculated; he didn’t approve everything the Ukrainians asked for but nonetheless crossed the line of approving lethal sales.
Earlier this year, discarding the censure that arming Ukraine could be seen as provocative, US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated,”Defensive weapons are not provocative unless you’re an aggressor, and clearly, Ukraine is not an aggressor, since it’s their own territory where the fighting is happening.”