The Trump Administration has approved the first ever U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, in a clear break from the de facto U.S. ban on arms sales of the Obama administration. The move was strongly supported by top Trump national security Cabinet officials and Congress but may complicate President Trump’s stated ambition to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was reported by the Washington Post.
Administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. There has been no approval to export the heavier weapons the Ukrainian government is asking for, such as Javelin antitank missiles.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who co-sponsored the law, praised Trump administration’s move.
“I’m pleased the administration approved the sale of defensive lethal arms to Ukraine. This decision was supported by Congress in legislation that became law three years ago and reflects our country’s longstanding commitment to Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression,” Corker said.
A State Department spokesperson, speaking on background, said that although the United States has now licensed the commercial export of lethal weapons to Ukraine for the first time, the U.S. government has not sold or given weapons directly to Ukraine. There’s never been any official policy on such sales one way or another, the spokesperson said, adding that this license was granted on a case-by-case basis.
As it was reported earlier the US Administration is close to the change of the policy on the provision of Ukraine with lethal weapons. Jim Inhofe, the senator from Republican Party claimed this.
'The former presidential administration did not plan to provide Ukraine with the defensive weapons and now it changes', Inhofe claimed and emphasized that he supports the provision of Ukraine with the lethal weapons.