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Lithuania ready to deploy training troops in Ukraine, no Kyiv request yet, PM says

Lithuania PM says she has parliamentary permission to deploy training troops to Ukraine, but is awaiting Kyiv’s request, while ignoring possible Russian threats.
Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. ELTA / Marius Morkevičius
Lithuania ready to deploy training troops in Ukraine, no Kyiv request yet, PM says

Lithuania is prepared to send its soldiers to Ukraine on a training mission, its prime minister Ingrida Šimonytė has told FT.

Lithuania, which gained independence from Moscow in 1990, seeks to strengthen military support for Ukraine amid the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.

In late February, Macron discussed deploying NATO troops in Ukraine, emphasizing the lack of consensus for combat roles but advocating to keep all support options open. While many NATO leaders minimized the likelihood of direct combat engagement, the idea of deploying non-combat troops gained acceptance among some member countries like Poland and Lithuania.

Earlier, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė endorsed Macron’s strategy of “strategic ambiguity” about the deployment option, suggesting it effectively counters Putin’s unpredictability.

Now, Šimonytė revealed to the Financial Times that she has obtained parliamentary permission to deploy Lithuanian troops to Ukraine for training purposes, though Kyiv has not made such a request yet. Acknowledging Russia would view this move as a provocation, she asserted that inaction out of fear of Russian response would impede any assistance to Ukraine:

“If we just thought about the Russian response, then we could not send anything. Every second week you hear that somebody will be nuked,” said Šimonytė.

The Lithuanian premier dismissed concerns over Russia’s potential use of nuclear weapons, citing the risks of radioactive fallout affecting Russian territory as well:

Most of the time, the winds blow from west to east,” she noted.

According to Šimonytė, Russia has intensified attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure like power plants, schools, and hospitals, in an attempt to trigger a fresh wave of refugees to the EU fleeing the lack of basic utilities and services.

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