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Report: Ukraine Wants Money Back From US on 6 More Deals

Kyiv reportedly put down payments on $30M arms, ammo deals held up by US for at least a year
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2020 11:22 AM CST
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Tom Cruise talk to each other during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 30, 2019.   (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
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(Newser) – The impeachment of President Trump revolved around a midsummer phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the holdup of almost $400 million in US military aide to the country in its war with Russia. But according to three Ukrainian officials and an ex-US senior official who talked to BuzzFeed, at least a half-dozen more commercial sales of arms and ammunition worth about $30 million combined haven't yet received approval from the Trump administration—and now Ukraine wants its tens of millions of dollars in down payments back. BuzzFeed's sources note five of the deals have been held up by the US for about a year, while the sixth has been delayed for more than a year, even though such deals typically take about two months to approve, per one of the Ukrainian officials and US State Department guidelines.

BuzzFeed notes one of the deals, a $10 million ammunition sale, was first reported by Yahoo News in September, but the other five deals are newly reported. The export license for that ammunition sale, which is said to be the "most critical" for the Ukrainians, was submitted to the State Department in November 2018; down payments for the other five sales were made between January and March of last year. While the three Ukrainian officials aren't sure if the suspension of these six deals are linked to Trump's push to have the Bidens investigated, they do note these deals were delayed before Trump's July call with Zelensky, meaning there may be other reasons at play. In a statement to the Hill, the State Department noted it can't comment "on the status of specific defense trade direct commercial licensing cases" due to import and export regulations. (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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