Ukraine to buy more U.S. Javelin anti-tank missile systems

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine will purchase a second consignment of U.S. Javelin anti-tank missiles and launch units, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The United States has been one of Kiev’s strongest supporters since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 13,000 people.

Contracts for the deal were signed in the fourth quarter of 2019, the defense ministry in a statement, without giving further details.

A first shipment of Javelin systems worth around $47 million arrived in Ukraine in April 2018 after the U.S. State Department gave the green light for the deal.

Kiev and Washington believe the system will improve Ukraine’s long-term defense capacity.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill that envisages providing $300 million in military aid to Ukraine in 2020.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; editing by Andrey Ostroukh, Kirsten Donovan