U.S. State Department backs missile sale to Ukraine: statement

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks as he and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 150 Raytheon Co Javelin missiles and related equipment worth up to $39.2 million to Ukraine, the Defense Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The type of missiles was mentioned in a July 25 call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that has prompted a congressional impeachment inquiry against Trump. The sale is to be funded with Ukrainian government funds, not U.S. funds, and was finalized before the leaders’ conversation.

(This story corrects to make clear type of missiles were mentioned in call, but sale was finalized before call)

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey and Dan Grebler