The Russia-obsessed corporate media continues to peddle the narrative that Donald Trump has turned the United States into a client-state of Russia, even while he directly provokes the former Soviet Union by providing Russia’s foe — Urkaine — with the largest lethal assistance to a country on its border.
Despite the mainstream media’s insistence that U.S. President Donald Trump is some sort of compromised Russian lackey, the fact is that at the end of last year, his administration approved the largest U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine since 2014. This is a move that clearly infuriates and angers Russia, souring relations between the two countries even more so than they already had been under the Obama administration (and in various stages throughout Trump’s first year in office).
According to The Washington Post, administration officials confirmed that in December the State Department had approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and other associated parts and accessories to Ukraine — a package valued at $41.5 million.
At first, it was reported there had not yet been approval to export the heavier weaponry the Ukrainian government had been asking for, such as anti-tank missiles. However, by the end of December, reports began surfacing that the Trump administration was in fact going to provide 35 FGM-148 Javelin launchers and 210 anti-tank missiles. The Javelin is allegedly one of the most advanced anti-tank systems on the market. The total package is now valued at $47 million, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this figure continues to rise in the weeks to come.
Even under the 2014 Ukraine Freedom Support Act, the Obama administration never authorized large commercial or government arms sales, thereby making the recent announcement the first time that the U.S. will provide “lethal” weapons to the Ukraine military.
One senior congressional official said that he predicted this would be just the beginning, stating that the U.S. had “crossed the Rubicon; this is lethal weapons and I predict more will be coming,” according to the Post. Foreign Policy’s Michael Carpenter suggested that NATO countries should follow suit and also provide Ukraine with the arms it needs to counter the so-called threat of Russia. Considering that in September 2017 Russia proposed that UN peacekeepers be deployed to Ukraine, it should be clear that the U.S. is more bent on escalating this conflict than on resolving it.
Russia has already responded in kind, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stating that the U.S. has become an accomplice in the war and that these developments make it impossible for Russia to remain “indifferent,” thereby forcing Russia to consider retaliation measures in response.
The U.S. is the world’s largest arms dealer. The U.S. arms so many countries so much of the time that most of us barely blink. And yet, even taking at face value America’s stated goals of spreading democracy and promoting human rights, the facts on the ground appear to run contrary to those ideals and the U.S. is well aware of these contradictions.
In reality, the United States intervened covertly in Ukraine in 2014 because Russia and Europe were growing far too close to each other for America’s comfort, with Russia supplying at least 30 percent of Europe’s gas supply. This was an issue particularly in relation to Germany’s growing fondness for Russian gas, as Germany is set to become the EU’s major player.
This is a deal-breaker for Washington, which would rather support known neo-Nazis and anti-Semites in order to install a right-wing government capable of opposing Russia as close to the Russian border as one can get.