VILNIUS –Stinger anti-aircraft missiles from Lithuania will be handed over to Ukraine over the upcoming days, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says.
"We are increasing the number of military instructors in the country and providing Ukraine with additional weapons and equipment. (…) Stinger anti-aircraft missiles from Lithuania will reach Ukraine in the nearest days. I hope and sincerely wish that Ukraine will never use them," the Lithuanian prime minister said, adding that Lithuania is also resuming the rehabilitation of Ukrainian troops in Lithuania.
The assistance is being provided after the US administration approved the handover of the US-made equipment.
Lithuania is also handing over thermal vision devises to Ukraine's special military forces.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says Lithuania's assistance is "timely and important".
A special government mission is also working in Kyiv this month and it is looking into ways for Lithuania to provide additional assistance to Ukraine, both within the bilateral and EU format.
"You can count on Lithuania‘s firm and unwavering support – now and always," Simonyte said.
For the past decade, Ukraine has been defending not only its right to follow the chosen path of democracy and sovereignty, but has also been ensuring "European security and order", the Lithuanian prime minister said.
"The world order where the powerful few would divide "the spheres of influence" in dark chambers upon secret agreements is long bygone and should be lost in oblivion," she said.
Russia now has over 100,000 troops and military equipment near Ukraine's borders, stoking fears in the West it plans to attack its neighbor, something that Moscow denies.