LITHUANIA MAY SUPPLY WEAPONS TO UKRAINE

Reuters on November 26, 2014, reported that Lithuania may supply weapons to Ukraine as part of military aid it promised to help Kiev fight pro-Russian separatists, the Lithuanian defense minister told Reuters in an interview . Excerpts below:

NATO countries have so far been reluctant to arm non-memberUkraine against the well-equipped rebels in order to avoid provoking Russia, although the United States is providing Ukraine with non-lethal military equipment.

Lithuania, which last month launched its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to safeguard against a potential Russian gas cut-off, is taking an increasingly assertive stance against its former imperial overlord.

During a visit to Kiev this week, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko announced at a joint press conference that Lithuania would be providing Ukraine with military aid, but did not specify if this would include weaponry or be of the non-lethal kind.

Grybauskaite has angered Russia by branding it a “terrorist state” for its role in eastern Ukraine and because Russian customs no longer allow Lithuanian-registered trucks to carry goods into the country.

The United Nations says more than 4,300 people have been killed overall in the conflict in Ukraine.

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