The US State Department has approved a $285 million sale of an air defense system to Ukraine.
The sale includes the Javelin missile system, which is a handheld, shoulder-fired anti-tank missile system. The package also includes 43 launchers and 210 missiles, as well as associated equipment and parts.
The sale comes at a time when Ukraine is facing increased military pressure from Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea. The US has long been providing military aid and training to the Ukrainian army in order to fend off Russian aggression.
The decision has been met with criticism from Russia, which has repeatedly voiced its opposition to US arms sales in the region.
However, the US State Department has said that it is “firmly committed” to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It added that the sale of the missile system is intended to “improve the security of Ukraine and contribute to international peace and stability”.