KYIV, Aug 31 – The U.S. has agreed to supply $60 million in additional Javelin anti-armor systems and other defensive lethal and non-lethal capabilities during President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington DC, Pentagon reported.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met on Tuesday with Zelenskyy and Minister of Defense Andrii Taran to reaffirm the strategic defense partnership between the United States and Ukraine.
“Secretary Austin reiterated unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” Pentagon said in a statement. Austin condemned Russia’s continued occupation of Crimea and perpetuation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine
“With President Biden’s approval of a new $60 million package for additional Javelin anti-armor systems and other defensive lethal and non-lethal capabilities, the United States has committed more than $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine this year alone,” Pentagon said.
The Javelin systems delivered are meant to be used in the event of a large-scale escalation n in the war and not for offensive purposes, U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said. Another shipment of Javelins would further enhance Ukraine's ability to defend itself against a potential attack.
The leaders also discussed the importance of maintaining progress on defense and defense industry reforms in line with NATO principles and standards and exchanged perspectives on Black Sea security.
Secretary Austin and Minister Taran concluded the meeting with a signing ceremony of the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Defense Framework , which enhances our strategic defense partnership and advances shared priorities, as well as a Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Projects Agreement that will provide a framework for pursuing bilateral armaments and military-technical cooperation through cooperative projects.
In August 2018 Ukraine has requested to purchase more Javelin anti-tank missiles from the United States, and in June 2020 Ukraine had received $27-million worth shipment of the latest U.S.-made Javelin anti-tank missile systems FGM-148E.
The implementation of the contract for a total amount of more than $36.5 million in June 2020 supported Ukrainian-U.S. strategic cooperation in the defense sector.
In April 2018 Ukraine's purchased 210 Javelin missiles and 37 launchers for the first time. (tl/ez)