The U.S. will dramatically increase its defense aid to Ukraine, the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted his new nuclear weapons could not be intercepted by another country.
The Trump administration informed Congress it will sell Ukraine 210 anti-tank missiles to ward off Russian encroachments.
“You have failed to contain Russia,” Putin said in his Thursday statement, adding that NATO’s missile defenses will be “useless” against Russia’s weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. is training Ukraine’s military to use the new missiles, which include the 210 Javelin missiles and 37 command launch units. The $47 billion in weapons will reach Ukraine around mid April.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have long called for more aid to Ukraine, and the Pentagon and State Department have already approved the plan.
The Trump administration has expressed a desire to remain friendly with Russia, but has threatened to toughen sanctions on the country if it becomes too ambitious. Sanctions put in place after Russia annexed Crimea will remain until the area is freed, the White House said.
On Wednesday the president told a room of governors that Russia is “behaving badly” on North Korea, and last month the president stated he has been “much tougher on Russia” than the Obama administration.
I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018