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Lithuanian FM sounds alarm, says lack of Western military aid could hand Putin ‘victories’

In Europe
February 03, 2024

The war could bring Vladimir Putincertain victories” if the West does not help Ukraine resist Russian aggression, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Feb. 3, ahead of an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, news agency Ukrinformreports.

Borrell said on Jan. 31 that in 2024, the volume of military aid to Ukraine from the EU countries would amount to 21 billion euros ($22.7 billion). He added that during the first two years of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, the EU transferred a total of 28 billion euros ($30.3 billion) to Kyiv for military needs. This year, Europe will donate almost as much as it did in the previous two years.

Reuters sources said that the EU would probably decide to fulfill the obligations year by year, rather than approve a plan for a large sum that would stretch over four years.

Many countries, including Germany, expressed reservations about allocating such large sums for years to come.

Read also: Lithuanian Foreign Minister arrives in Kyiv

Reuters previously reported that this plan is being opposed by some EU member states, which is why it may not be approved in its current form.

An informal EU Foreign Affairs Council is taking place in Brussels on Feb. 3. One of the issues being discussed at the meeting is the proposal by EU High Representative JosepBorrell to create an aid fund for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility in the amount of 20 billion euros ($21.6 billion) for the next four years, i.e. 5 billion ($5.4 billion) annually.

“So we have to agree on a bigger package. But I’m not sure that my colleagues think the same way.”

“If we plan only for one year, it will not send the right message to the industry,” said the Lithuanian foreign minister.

Such a large-scale package would send the right “message” to the European defense industry and would be distributed over four years at 5 billion ($5.4 billion) a year, Landsbergis said.

It is necessary to return to the original proposal to provide Ukraine with a 20 billion euro($21.6 billion) military aid package, which was previously withdrawn from the discussions.

Read also: Ukraine and Lithuania agree to joint arms production for UA military

He stressed that the bloc should discuss Europe’s overall position on the efforts made by Ukrainians to defend their country, including a military aid package for Ukraine, as well as further sanctions against Russia.

The last meeting at the summit on Feb. 1, when the EU agreed to allocate 50 billion euros ($54 billion) of aid to Ukraine, provided some optimism, but ministers should take seriously the assistance to Ukraine, which is in a “difficult situation,” said Landsbergis.

“Without our help, the war will not develop well for Ukrainians, and this may mean certain victories for Putin, which we cannot allow,” the diplomat said.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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