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Ukraine Says It Has New Contracts For Second Batch Of U.S. Javelin Missiles

A Ukrainian soldier rides with a Javelin anti-tank missile as he takes part in a rehearsal of a military parade in downtown Kyiv in August 2018.
A Ukrainian soldier rides with a Javelin anti-tank missile as he takes part in a rehearsal of a military parade in downtown Kyiv in August 2018.

KYIV -- Deputy Defense Minister Anatoliy Petrenko says Kyiv recently concluded contracts for the delivery of a second batch of Javelin U.S. anti-tank missile systems.

Speaking on December 26, Petrenko said three contracts had been signed in the past three months in connection with the Javelins -- two with the U.S. government under the Foreign Military Sales program and one with NATO's Support and Procurement Agency.

The U.S. State Department in October approved the sale of $39.2 million in military equipment to Ukraine, including a second batch of Javelins, the world's deadliest anti-tank missiles, to help Kyiv in its ongoing five-year war against Russia-backed separatists.

The deal reportedly included 150 Javelin missiles and 10 launch units, adding to the 210 missiles and 37 launchers that Ukraine bought from the United States in 2018.

The Javelin missile systems are meant to be used in the event of a large-scale escalation in the war and not for offensive purposes, U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said.

The Javelin missiles were mentioned in a controversial July 25 telephone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that was at the center of a whistle-blower complaint against the U.S. leader.

That complaint and subsequent revelations led to House of Representatives votes on December 18 to impeach Trump for alleged abuse of office and obstruction of Congress, making him just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

In the July phone call, according to White House notes of the conversation, Zelenskiy said he wanted "to buy more Javelins" before Trump asked the Ukrainian president for "a favor, though."

The sale of the Javelins had been finalized before the call.

But Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Zelenskiy to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had business dealings in Ukraine, by threatening to hold up military aid to Kyiv.

The Ukrainian government has been fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people.

Russia had seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimea region earlier the same year in a move that has been overwhelmingly rejected in multiple UN votes.

The United States and European Union have been providing aid to Ukraine since soon after the 2014 Russian invasion.

The Javelins, manufactured in a joint venture by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, are medium-range, anti-tank guided missiles that are currently being used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

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