State approves Javelin missile sale to Ukraine

Poroshenko says situation with gas supply in Ukraine stable (Video)

The resolution "On the appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the parliaments of foreign states and the parliamentary assemblies of worldwide organizations regarding the conviction of Russia's political repression against citizens of Ukraine as a result of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine and the release of political prisoners - citizens of Ukraine" was supported by 241 MPs at a parliament meeting on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

The missiles could end up being used in combat against Russian-backed separatist, according to the newspaper. "But we received it (the decision) when we received it".

State Department officials in December signaled the United States was preparing a deal with Ukraine for anti-tank weaponry, days after Trump approved the sale of small arms and weapons to the country, including sniper rifles, ammunition and other parts and materials.

Russia's subsequent seizure of Crimea and its backing of the separatists in eastern Ukraine have triggered waves of US and European Union sanctions targeting Russian officials, companies, and economic sectors.

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But the decision to provide lethal aid is sensitive. The Kremlin has repeatedly said supplying weapons to Ukraine would further destabilize the situation.

Russian Federation denies accusations from Kiev and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation that it supports the rebels with troops and weapons.

Speaking in a ministerial room decorated with photos of troops on the eastern front line, Poltorak said the weapons would help the Ukrainian military respond to attacks that he said Russian Federation was responsible for coordinating. The sale will include training on how to use the devices. "But he also uses it to prevent Ukraine from developing quickly", he said. Trump administration officials have said the anti-tank missiles are defensive weapons and only pose a risk to an outside aggressor. The Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture would be the prime contractor on the sale.

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