Sniper rifle sale to Ukraine further cools relations with Russia
By Chris Eger
The State Department recently approved a $41 million deal for Barrett sniper rifles to Ukraine. (Photo: Barrett)
A deal approved by the White House to export a shipment of American-made .50-caliber sniper rifles to Ukraine has drawn rebuke from Moscow.
The deal authorized by the State Department, is for $41.5 million worth of Barrett’s M107A1 rifle systems as well as ammunition and parts, as reported by the Washington Post. Barrett is located in Tennessee, home to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who welcomed the news.
“This decision was supported by Congress in legislation that became law three years ago and reflects our country’s longstanding commitment to Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression,” said Corker, a Republican.
Though Ukraine inherited a number of SVD and Mosin sniper rifles from the old Soviet Union, and since last year they have been fielding domestically-produced precision rifles, they are all various .30-caliber platforms. The addition of .50-caliber systems is expected to help address a range-gap on the ground when facing better-equipped separatists.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova last week said weapon shipments by the U.S. and Canada were made without thinking of the greater ramifications. “Washington and Ottawa should realize that there is no military solution to