Trump plans to approve supply of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his approval of a plan to sell anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian government, ABC News has reported, citing several sources in the State Department.
According to sources, the total defense package of $47 million includes the sale of 210 anti-tank missiles and 35 launchers.
If the president announces his approval, the plan will be submitted for consideration by the U.S. Congress within 30 days and then transferred to the State Department, the television channel reports.
"The sale of anti-tank missiles, which could possibly include the U.S.-made Javelin system, provoked a strong reaction from Russia on Saturday, saying it 'crossed the line,' and could threaten to derail Trump's calls for better relations with Moscow," the report says.
National Security Council spokesperson Marc Raimondi, in turn, told ABC News that the United States had "nothing to announce at this time."
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Kyiv would receive lethal defensive weapons from the United States and that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had confirmed this to him in a phone conversation.
"As we have agreed with President Trump, calmly and without unnecessary noise, Ukraine shall receive lethal defensive weapons from the United States. This fundamental and long-awaited decision of the American administration was confirmed during my yesterday's talk with State Secretary Rex Tillerson," he wrote on his page on Facebook late on Saturday, December 23.
In his opinion, "along with strengthening sanctions against Russia, this step is an adequate response to the continuation of the occupation of the Ukrainian territory, the failure of Moscow to fulfill its commitments, and the continued pouring of heavy weaponry in Donbas."
It was reported on December 21 that the U.S. presidential administration had approved the sale of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems and associated equipment to the tune of $41.5 million to Ukraine.