Dec 20 2017
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on reports that the Trump administration has approved the sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine:
“I welcome reports that the Trump administration has approved the sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine. This decision is years overdue, but nonetheless, it comes at a pivotal moment. Ukrainians are enduring some of the worst fighting in several months as Russia has withdrawn its officers from a key ceasefire implementation mechanism and Russian-led forces have escalated their attacks in eastern Ukraine. At every turn, Vladimir Putin has chosen war instead of peace in Ukraine. So long as he makes this choice, the United States and the Free World should give Ukraine what it needs to fight back.
“That is why the reported decision to authorize the sale of sniper rifles and ammunition must only be a first step. I urge the President to authorize additional sales of defensive lethal weapons, including anti-tank munitions, and to fully utilize security assistance funds provided by the Congress to enable Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. I also urge the President and congressional leadership to ensure that any budget deal fully supports the $350 million in security assistance for Ukraine authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law this month.”