KYIV, Dec. 26 - Ukraine will purchase a second consignment of U.S. Javelin anti-tank missiles and launch units, Reuters reported Thursday citing the Defense Ministry.
The United States has been one of Kyiv’s strongest supporters since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region that has killed more than 13,000 people.
Contracts for the deal were signed in the fourth quarter of 2019, the defense ministry in a statement, without giving further details.
A first shipment of Javelin systems worth around $47 million arrived in Ukraine in April 2018 after the U.S. State Department gave the green light for the deal.
Kyiv and Washington believe the system will improve Ukraine’s long-term defense capacity.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill that envisages providing $300 million in military aid to Ukraine in 2020.
Ukraine also hopes to buy coastal defense and anti-ship weapons as part of future security assistance packages to Ukraine, through the 2020 defense policy bill, according to Defense News.
Speaking at the German Marshall Fund earlier this month, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, indicated the weapons would be ideal fits for a pair of Island-class patrol boats Ukraine has received from Washington.
Those boats were “supplied without anything on them,” said Kuleba, the first member of the current Ukrainian government to visit Washington. “So, we will continue working on obtaining more boats of that class, and hopefully with some of the equipment you mentioned.”
Kuleba said Ukraine provides a useful security partner for the U.S. and its NATO allies, particularly along the Black Sea.
The U.S. has committed more than $1.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014, when Russian-backed separatists began driving tanks through eastern Ukraine. That funding has included sniper rifles, Humvees, unarmed drones, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, counter-artillery radars, electronic warfare detection and secure communications, night vision equipment, and military medical supplies and treatment. (rt/dn/ez)