The United States Government under President Donald Trump approved the first supplies of lethal weapons to Ukraine. This information was confirmed to the newspaper The Washington Post by key sources in the US government.
According to the sources, “the State Department earlier this month approved a commercial license allowing the export of” large-scale sniper rifles Barrett M107A1, as well as ammunition and spare parts for them for $ 41.5 million.
The publication explains that the supply of these type of weapons “will reduce certain vulnerabilities that Ukrainian forces encounter while fighting the separatists backed by Russia in the two eastern republics. The sources draw attention to the fact that the US authorities did not give permission for the export of heavier weapons, including portable anti-tank missile systems Javelin.
“I am happy that the US administration authorized the sale of defensive weapons to Ukraine, which was supported by Congress in a law adopted three years ago and reflects our commitment to Ukraine in the face of Russian hostility,” said Senator Bob Corker (Republican from Tennessee).
As another newspaper source in the administration notes, Donald Trump personally authorized the decision to issue the license for selling weapons to Ukraine after he was presented with a written documents by the Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. While there was no formal ban on the sale of such weapons, however, the decision was widely debated within the US administration (as it was about to lift secret restrictions on Ukraine) the source explained.