Baltic nations to ship missiles to Ukraine with U.S. assist

The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will ship U.S.-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine in a transfer that Washington says it’s totally endorsing amid Kyiv’s escalating tensions with Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in a tweet Saturday that Washington saluted the three NATO nations and former Soviet republics “for his or her longstanding assist to Ukraine”.

“I expedited and licensed and we totally endorse transfers of defensive gear NATO Allies Estonia Latvia Lithuania are offering to Ukraine to strengthen its potential to defend itself towards Russia’s unprovoked and irresponsible aggression,” Blinken stated in one other tweet. 

Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier this week described western arms provides to Ukraine as extraordinarily harmful and stated they “do nothing to scale back tensions.”

Ukraine Russia
Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Protection Forces, volunteer navy models of the Armed Forces, practice in a metropolis park in Kyiv, Ukraine, on January 22, 2022.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Moscow has massed tens of 1000’s of troops on the border with Ukraine, resulting in fears of an invasion. The West has rejected Moscow’s essential calls for — guarantees from NATO that Ukraine won’t ever be added as a member, that no alliance weapons can be deployed close to Russian borders, and that it’s going to pull again its forces from Central and Japanese Europe.

A gathering Friday between Blinken and Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov ended with no breakthrough.

In a joint assertion printed late Friday, the protection ministers of the three Baltic states stated they “stand united in our dedication to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in face of continued Russian aggression.”

They stated Estonia would offer Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank weapons whereas Latvia and Lithuania have been sending Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and different associated gear to bolster Kyiv’s defensive navy capabilities.

“At the moment Ukraine is on the forefront of separating Europe from the navy battle with Russia. Let´s face it — the warfare in Ukraine is ongoing and you will need to assist Ukraine in each manner we will in order that they will resist the aggressor,” Minister of Protection of Estonia Kalle Laanet stated.

It wasn’t instantly clear when the weapons and gear could be despatched to Ukraine.

In a separate growth, Estonia is looking for Germany’s approval to ship Soviet-made howitzers, which as soon as belonged to East Germany, to Ukraine. Estonia acquired the howitzers from non-NATO member Finland, which in flip had purchased them from Germany’s navy surplus provide within the Nineteen Nineties.

The German authorities stated Friday it was contemplating Estonia’s request to move the howitzers on to Ukraine however gave no timeline for a choice. Berlin stated it deliberate to coordinate the difficulty with Finland, which has obtained the same approval request from Estonia.

Some latest media studies prompt German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Cupboard has blocked Estonia’s switch of weapons to Kyiv, pointing to strains within the West’s response to the Ukraine disaster.

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