Lithuania Considers Sending Soldiers to Ukraine

Ukraine | May 8, 2024, Wednesday // 11:35|  views

Lithuania is contemplating sending its soldiers to Ukraine for a training mission, signaling its willingness to bolster military support for its neighbor amidst escalating tensions with Russia. In an interview with the Financial Times, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė revealed that her government has parliamentary permission for such a deployment, although Kyiv has not yet made a formal request.

The move comes as part of Lithuania's broader efforts to enhance military assistance to Ukraine amid concerns over Russian aggression. French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to dispatch European troops to Ukraine has sparked debate, with some countries wary of provoking a direct confrontation with Russia.

Šimonytė acknowledged the potential for Russian backlash, stating, "If we just thought about the Russian response, then we could not send anything." She highlighted Russia's recent military exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons in response to Macron's remarks, but downplayed the likelihood of their use, citing concerns over radioactive fallout affecting Russia.

Meanwhile, Šimonytė underscored Russia's intensified attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, including power stations, schools, and hospitals, aimed at provoking a new wave of refugees. The conflict in Ukraine has already displaced millions, straining resources and support networks across Europe.

Responding to reports of Lithuania assisting in the return of Ukrainian men of fighting age, Šimonytė clarified that while the country aims to support Ukraine, it will not engage in illegal activities. However, those proven to have evaded military service might face consequences regarding their residency status.

Ultimately, Lithuania's potential deployment of soldiers to Ukraine underscores the deepening geopolitical tensions in the region and the ongoing struggle for stability amidst conflict and displacement.

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Tags: Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, tensions


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