VILNIUS – As the European Union has approved military assistance to Ukraine, valued at 500 million euros, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says EU countries will send their existing weapons or those under the process of procurement.
"I cannot provide any major details as things are in the process. I can only say that, as far as I know, they are thinking about that weaponry, let's say, acquired or being acquired, that could probably be the fastest thing. (…) Things that have been acquired, they would be sent and the costs would be compensated," the prime minister told reporters on Monday.
Speaking of the EU agreement on sending weaponry and fighter jets, the prime minister said the EU would only send things that Ukrainian troops can already use to fight.
"We can only give the Ukrainians what the Ukrainians can use and know how to use for fighting because there's no time for training. Clearly, that slightly restricts the options for those fighter jets and other weaponry. Preparations are now mostly to look for what the army could take and use," she said.
The West's unity over the past couple of days is a "tectonic shift" sparked by Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggression, Simonyte said.
"I would hardly exaggerate if I said that what we see now is a certain tectonic shift. As Putin has managed to get not only the Western community united, but also those democracies in other regions that also adhere to the same principles. (…) Yesterday marked a series of unprecedented decisions we could hardly expected or imagined earlier," the Lithuanian prime minister said.
Among other things, she mentioned the EU, german and Swedish "unprecedented" decision to send weapons to Ukraine and also Germany's decision to up its defense budget.