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US Prepares $39M in Anti-Tank Javelin Missiles for Ukraine



This story originated in U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the Palace Hotel on the sidelines of the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 26, 2019.On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged he was on the telephone call between Trump and Zelenskiy that triggered the presidential impeachment investigation. The probe already has resulted in the resignation of former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who, along with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, is expected to testify Thursday before the House intelligence, oversight and foreign affairs committees.Javelin missiles are manufactured by a joint venture of Lockheed Martin, based in North Bethesda, Maryland, and Raytheon Co., which has headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. The Javelin systems, however, are produced at a facility in Tucson, Arizona.Kurt Volker, former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, gestures during an interview with Reuters in Kyiv, Oct. 28, 2017.Volker, who was appointed special envoy by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in 2017, had an unusual arrangement with the State Department. As a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Volker assumed the part-time, unpaid special envoy role, while maintaining his paid work as executive director of Arizona State University’s McCain Institute in Washington.A Politico story published last week suggested a conflict of interest, reporting that Raytheon had links to the McCain Institute and a lobbying firm for which Volker worked.Ukrainian calls specifically for the lightweight, shoulder-fired Javelins, however, date back to at least 2015.”The push to provide Ukraine with man-portable anti-armor weapons, i.e., Javelin missiles, significantly predates Amb. Volker’s appointment as special envoy,” former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer recently told Patrick Tucker of Defense One magazine.”I visited the Ukrainian field headquarters for military operations in Donbas in January 2015. I specifically asked the Ukrainian headquarters staff if they sought Javelins, and they shouted back da, da, Javelins’ (yes, yes, Javelins’). President Obama chose not to act on that recommendation, in part, I believe, because German Chancellor Merkel, who was just about to convene the Minsk meeting with Presidents Putin and Poroshenko, asked him not to provide lethal assistance.” The U.S. has been providing military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor following the ouster of a Kremlin-backed president in 2014.