(RightWing.org) – The Russo-Ukrainian War began in early 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The conflict intensified in February 2022 when President Vladimir Putin announced the initiation of a “special military operation” aimed at denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine.
The Russian military invaded Ukraine later that month. So far, Ukrainian forces have managed to maintain control of most of the country, much to the surprise of the international community and US military leaders like former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who had predicted Kyiv would fall within 72 hours in the event of a full-scale invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently turned to the Baltic Countries to support the war effort, among waning interest in funding the war in perpetuity from American lawmakers.
President Zelenskyy Seeks Support From Baltic States
On January 10, Zelenskyy announced his first foreign visit of the new year to Lithuania and the other two Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia. “This is more than […] a visit of gratitude,” he said, adding it was “a visit of confidence.”
The first foreign visit in 2024 is to Lithuania and other Baltic States.
This is more than just a visit of gratitude. This is a visit of confidence—the shared confidence of the nations bordering Russia.
We stand together and we are not going to lose our unity. pic.twitter.com/LEZ5qgS0iJ
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 10, 2024
However, at its core, Zelenskyy appears to be using his trip to the Baltics to solidify their continued military, political, and economic support. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda confirmed his country’s continued aid during a joint press conference after the two leaders concluded talks.
Nausėda reminded reporters that Lithuanian lawmakers had already approved a €200 million (nearly $220 million) aid package to supply “long-term military assistance to Ukraine.” He explained that Lithuania would send weapons initiation systems, power generators, and ammunition to Ukraine this month.
Likewise, in February, Lithuania plans to send American-designed and manufactured M577 armored personnel carriers to the war-ravaged nation. Nausėda also told reporters that Lithuania would “enhance cooperation [within] the defense industry,” and military officials would provide advanced training to Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukrainian President Kicks Off Baltic Visit by Signing New Agreement With Lithuania
The two heads of state signed a new support package for defense earlier in the day. Of particular import, the agreement provides for the joint production of necessary military hardware, particularly anti-drone equipment.
Zelenskyy offered his personal thanks to Nausėda and “the entire Lithuanian people” for their unwavering support. He also expressed gratitude for their efforts to support Ukraine’s pathway into the European Union and NATO. He warned that the closer Russia’s border comes to Europe, the “more obvious” it becomes that his country’s entry into that alliance is to European security interests.
Nausėda echoed that sentiment, adding that the “uninterrupted long-term support for Ukraine” was key to responding to the increasingly “challenging security” confronting Western Europe and its NATO allies.
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