US clears Baltic States, Britain to send American-made weapons to Ukraine: media

Ukraine tests Javelins in Donbas

The Ukrainian army tested out the American Javelin anti-tank missiles in Donbas on 22 December 2021. Photo: fb.com/pressjfo.news 

International, Ukraine

The US State Department has cleared the Baltic states and Britain to send “US-made missiles and other weapons to Ukraine,” according to Reuters citing three unnamed sources. The report comes a month after the Baltic States declared readiness to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

US export control regulations require approval from the State Department for the countries before transferring any weapons received from the US to third parties. These approvals would allow Estonia to transfer Javelin anti-tank missiles, while Lithuania will be cleared to send Stinger missiles, according to one of the sources cited by Reuters.

A State Dept spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the US allowed Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Britain to send US-made equipment from their inventories to Ukraine, without giving details on which weapons would be sent.

Earlier, on 21 December 2021, defense ministers of the Baltic states — Arvydas Anušauskas of Lithuania, Artis Pabriks of Latvia, and Kalle Laanet of Estonia — said that their countries were ready to provide Ukraine with assistance, both non-military and military. They also called for NATO to take additional steps to deter Russia.

Also, another State Dept official confirmed on 19 January that the US has approved the $200 million weapons package for Ukraine, which includes more Javelin missiles, ammunition, radar systems, and medical equipment, according to AP. Unofficial reports on the Biden Administration’s approval of a $200 million military aid for Ukraine circulated in mid-January, however, it is unclear whether AP reports on the same decision or a new one.

For several weeks now, Russia has been building up its troops near Ukraine and Russian-occupied parts of the country, having massed at least 100,000 troops near Ukrainian borders. Russian officials keep denying any plans to invade Ukraine, while Kyiv and the West repeatedly warn about the possible Russian invasion in the near future. Throughout January, the US, EU countries, and NATO structures have been engaged in a series of talks with Russia to ease tensions.

Germany blocks Ukraine’s arms purchase from NATO as unofficial arms embargo on Ukraine continues

On 19 January, US President Joe Biden said at a news conference that Russia will pay a “dear price” if it invades Ukraine.

On the same day while on his visit to Ukraine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Kyiv,

“Now, more than ever, everything depends on Ukrainians and no one else – to decide their future and the future of this country,” he said naming 100,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine’s borders “an unprecedented threat to Ukraine,” and confirming that Russia can attack at any moment.

And two days earlier, on 17 January, Britain announced its supplies of anti-tank systems to Ukraine and delivered the first batches of the weapons on the same day.

What we know about the “light anti-tank weapons” UK started supplying to Ukraine

 

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