Speed Reads

Weapons of War

U.S. to sell anti-tank missiles to Ukraine

The United States will sell anti-tank missiles and other weapons to Ukraine, the State Department announced Friday, a change from past practice of providing only military training while permitting small arms sales.

The new arrangement is intended to give Ukraine "enhanced defensive capabilities," a State representative said, because "Ukraine is a sovereign country and has a right to defend itself." The Ukrainian government has been battling Russian-supported separatists following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Friday's news is seen as an escalation of U.S.-Russia tensions.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, issued a statement calling for "disengagement and the withdrawal of heavy weapons" in the Ukrainian conflict, an aim U.S. arms sales are unlikely to foster. Read The Week's Kyle Mizokami on whether the Russian military threat is over-hyped.