Lithuania is ready to send troops to Ukraine for training, despite lack of request from Kyiv

Wednesday, 8 May 2024 —

Lithuania is ready to send its troops to conduct exercises on the territory of Ukraine, but official Kyiv has not yet sent a request.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė noted in a comment to the Financial Times that she has parliamentary permission to send troops to Ukraine for training, which her government had previously proposed, but Kyiv has not yet asked for it.

Šimonytė acknowledged that Russia would see this as a provocation; however, "If we just thought about the Russian response, then we could not send anything".

"Every second week you hear that somebody will be nuked," Šimonytė said.


This week, Russia announced that it was conducting a tactical nuclear weapons exercise in response to comments made by Emmanuel Macron about potentially sending troops to Ukraine.

Šimonytė doubted that Russia would actually use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, as the radioactive fallout would also affect Russian territory. "Most of the time the winds blow from west to east," she said.

The head of the Lithuanian government noted that Russia has intensified attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, such as power plants, schools and hospitals. "Russia is trying to provoke a new wave of people who will flee Ukraine due to the lack of basic conditions and services," the Lithuanian prime minister said.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, for his part, supports discussions about the possible deployment of foreign troops to Ukraine for training.

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