Lithuania to provide assistance to Ukraine based on its needs, defence minister says

Juozas Olekas
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

In his words, it was agreed in Kiev on Monday that more Ukrainian troops will come to Lithuania for training, Lithuania will provide medical assistance and rehabilitation to more injured Ukrainians and the formation of the trilateral Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade will be stepped up.

“It also means that we will step up the formation of the Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade to be able to jointly take part in training events, improve our interaction and assist Ukraine in reforming its army,” the defense minister told BNS, asked to elaborate on the Lithuanian-Ukrainian agreement on military-technical assistance.

Asked whether any kind of weaponry or its elements could be provided to Ukraine, Olekas said that the Ukrainians’ needs are unknown yet.

“At this stage, we want to know what their needs are. When the need arises, then we will see (…) what we can give without undermining our needs,” the minister said, adding that the Ukrainian assistance budget this year should be similar to the 2014 budget.

“We have provided assistance worth 150,000 litas (over EUR 43,000). (…) We plan to stick to this level this year as well. And it they need something more, we will provide out-of-budget assistance from what we have in our storage facilities and we don’t need,” Olekas said.

Lithuania and Ukraine agreed on cooperation in the military-technical area. The agreement will also involve provision of weaponry elements, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said after meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on Monday.

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