Ukraine receives $60M worth of military equipment from US

Politics

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — More than $60 million worth of weapons and other equipment is going to Ukraine as part of the U.S. security aid program with the country, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said Wednesday.

The embassy tweeted that the equipment its Office of Defense Cooperation received Tuesday included Javelin anti-tank missiles, radios and ammunition.

“The United States stands strongly with Ukraine in support of its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression,” one of the tweets said.

Ukraine has depended heavily on U.S. support during a 6-year war with Russia-backed separatists in the east of the country that has killed over 14,000 people. Kyiv received the first batch of Javelin missiles in 2018.

In 2019, U.S. military assistance to Ukraine became a cornerstone of a presidential impeachment case. U.S. President Donald Trump was accused of withholding the aid in order to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Trump’s rival, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s son.

The aid was eventually released after a whistle blower complaint brought to light a phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy that became a basis for a congressional impeachment inquiry.

The U.S. State Department also announced Wednesday it has approved a possible delivery to Ukraine of up to 16 patrol boats and related equipment for an estimated cost of $600 million.

“The proposed sale will improve Ukraine’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a modern, fast, short-range vessel,” it said, adding that the boats will help Ukraine “to better defend its territorial waters and protect other maritime interests.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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