State Department Approves Missile Sale Raised in Trump–Zelensky Call

A Ukrainian soldier rides with a Javelin anti-tank missile during a military parade marking Ukraine’s Independence Day in Kiev, August 24, 2018. (Gleb Garanich / Reuters)

The State Department on Thursday approved the sale of close to $40 million in Javelin missiles and equipment to Ukraine amid a House impeachment inquiry into President Trump that centers in part on his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky — a phone call in which the sale of the missiles was discussed.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Ukraine,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in announcing the move Thursday. The sale, which would include 150 Raytheon-made Javelin missiles and ten launchers with support equipment, was brought up by Zelensky on the July 25 call, according to a rough transcript released by the White House.

The deal follows a sale from last year that sent 210 missiles and 37 launchers to Ukraine for $47 million, but is unrelated to the $391 million in congressionally mandated aid to the country released September 12. Trump is alleged to have personally held up that aid package, but did not make the Ukrainians aware that it was being stalled until over a month after the call.

Democrats allege that the aid was part of a “quid pro quo” to get the Ukrainians to investigate alleged corruption on the part of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, who has had business dealings in Ukraine in the past.

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