Latvia pledges to send weapons to Ukraine
Riga, Jan 5 (EFE).- Latvia will send military aid, including unspecified weapons and systems to Ukraine, Latvia’s Defence Minister Artis Pabriks said on Wednesday.
“We ask our allies to do the same, because Ukraine has the right and needs the means to defend itself. Ukraine reduces tension on our borders, our region, in other words, Ukraine is fighting our war,” Pabriks said.
The specific content of the military aid will be decided together with Ukraine, according to the Latvian Defence Minister.
Oleksandr Mischenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Latvia, said his country “is worried about the increased Russian military presence near Ukraine’s borders.”
”It shows a readiness to attack us. The reason for this is clear, our readiness to join the European Union and NATO and that we guarantee freedom of press and elections. That is a threat to Putin’s regime,” Mischenko said.
While Latvia doesn’t have a significant arms industry, it has reserves of small arms and their ammunition, anti-tank warfare as well as man-portable air-defense systems, military vehicles and field hospitals.
Latvia has also provided military training to Ukrainian forces and provided medical care and rehabilitation to Ukrainian soldiers injured in the fighting with separatists and clandestine regular Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine that has been going on sporadically since 2014.
Latvia’s announcement comes after a joint communique between all three Baltic countries on December 21 which said “given the urgency to strengthen Ukraine’s defence capabilities, expressed readiness to provide immediate support for Ukraine, including all available non-military and military instruments of power, including lethal weapons.”