Lithuania hasn’t decided on arms supply to Ukraine, prime minister says

“The issue should be discussed at a meeting of the State Defence Council. So far, I haven’t heard about plans to hold the meeting anytime soon. No leader can make the decision without the council’s meeting,” the prime minister told journalists on Sunday in comment of media reports about statements made by Lithuania’s Ambassador to Ukraine Marius Janukonis, who said that Vilnius planed to start supplying arms to Kiev.

Asked whether Lithuania had coordinated the arms supply issue with neighbouring countries, Butkevičius refused to give an answer.

Janukonis has told Ukraine’s Channel 5 that “some steps have already been taken” in Vilnius to facilitate weaponry supplies to Ukraine.

“The political will exists, and Lithuania’s top leadership has announced it in public. Some steps have already been taken, and we will continue the steps, including those in the direction of arms supply to Ukraine. I cannot elaborate but we’re ready,” said Janukonis.

The ambassador added that Lithuania’s governmental institutions wanted to “demonstrate the principle to other countries – about helping Ukraine by all means, including the military ones”.

Ambassador out of line

When speaking about supply of weapons to Ukraine, Lithuanian Ambassador to Ukraine Marius Janukonis exceeded his powers as there are no such decisions made yet, Lithuanian Prime Minister Butkevičius says.

“I believe the ambassador exceeded his powers. We support Ukraine but are definitely not sending weapons,” he told journalists in Vilnius on Monday.

Asked what the reaction to the ambassador’s statement would be, the prime minister said that “the foreign minister will come back from his business trip and then a conversation will be held”.

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