• Kyiv has been waiting so long for the ammunition and other purchases, it has asked for its money back
  • Ukrainian officials suspect the delay has something to do with Chinese efforts to buy Ukraine aerospace company Motor Sich
  • The revelation comes just one day after the Senate acquitted President Trump on charges he withheld $391 million in military aid to Ukraine

Ukraine says the Trump administration is holding up $30 million in commercial munitions purchases and has given no reason for the delay, BuzzFeed reported Thursday.

The revelation comes just one day after the Senate acquitted Trump of abuse of power for withholding $391 million in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Trump’s political rivals.

Two Ukrainian officials told BuzzFeed they suspect the delay is connected to a Chinese attempt to buy a Ukrainian aerospace company Motor Sich. The U.S. has tried to block the deal and has been working to find other suitors.

BuzzFeed said six commercial purchases totaling $30 million have been languishing for so long, Ukraine has asked for its money to be refunded. Five of the sales have been delayed for a year, the sixth for even longer.

BuzzFeed, quoting Ukrainian officials, said no explanation has been given for the delay, which involves State Department approval of licenses. Kyiv has made a number of other such purchases.

“It’s never a totally smooth process, but now it’s taking several extra months,” a Ukrainian official told BuzzFeed. “It’s a trend of slowing down.”

An unidentified U.S. official told BuzzFeed “it might be wise” for Ukraine to find an alternative supplier.

Ukrainian officials said the weaponry is vital in its fight against Russia-backed separatists in its eastern provinces and see it as a bargaining chip in peace talks between Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The export license for a $10 million ammunition sale was submitted in November 2018, two Ukrainian officials said. The purchase is seen as critical since one of Ukraine’s ammunition factories was lost to Russia-backed forces in the Luhansk area. Several ammunition depots also have exploded in what the government has labeled Russian sabotage.

The other sales, which include machine guns, sniper rifles and night vision equipment, were submitted between January and March of last year, Ukrainian officials said.

The war in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014 after Russia seized the Crimea. It has killed 14,000 people and displaced 2 million.

The U.S. has given Ukraine $1.6 billion in assistance since hostilities erupted.