On December 20, the US Department of State officially confirmed that the White House has approved US commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.
“The Department of State has licensed the commercial export of a limited number of small arms and light weapons to Ukraine from U.S. manufacturers,” a State Department official told the Russian state-run news agency TASS. He added that the US has “never had any policy that restricts such commercial sales.”
According to earlier reports, an administration of US President Donald Trump approved a commercial license for exports to Ukraine of Barrett M107A1 sniper systems, munitions and spare parts for them to a sum of $41.5 million.
“We have crossed the Rubicon, this is lethal weapons and I predict more will be coming,” the Washington Post quoted a senior congressional official.
However, the official version of the US State Departement went in another direction. Washington said there is “nothing new” in the leathal-weapons sales to Ukraine.
“The U.S. government is not selling the Ukrainian government these weapons. Under the previous two administrations, the U.S. government has approved export licenses to Ukraine, so this is nothing new,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement to ABC News.
Earlier in 2017, SouthFront revealed facts and documents confirming a sale of shoulder-fired rocket launchers by AirTronic, a US manufacturer in Texas, to Ukraine. According to the documents, the US firm signed a contract with the Kiev government on November 11, 2016.
Later, Richard Vandiver told Voice of America that his firm has been selling the weapons since 2016, and “we are continuing deliveries up until now.”
On December 13, Canada gave the green light for national defence contractors to sell lethal weapons to Ukraine. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the country will include Ukraine in the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL). This will enable Canadian companies and individuals to apply for a permit to export certain prohibited firearms, weapons and devices to the Ukrainian government.
The recent arms sales came amide the increasing tensions in eastern Ukraine where forces loyal to the Kiev regime remain in a constant confrontation with forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.