More EU nations to provide weapons to Ukraine
Several European countries announced on Sunday that they would supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition. They include the Czech Republic, Portugal, Belgium, and the Netherlands, while Germany made a similar statement on Saturday.
Since the beginning of Russia’s offensive on February 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued several calls for the international community to provide “defense assistance” to his country.
On February 25, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance would be providing more support for Ukraine, including supplying air defense systems. The statement was followed by similar announcements from other European countries.
“The Russian attack marks a turning point. It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin. That’s why we’re supplying 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to our friends in the Ukraine,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted on Saturday.
That decision indicates a U-turn in Germany’s policy, which previously rejected providing arms to Kiev.
Meanwhile, the Czech Ministry of Defense posted a video of an apparently Ukraine-bound train, saying the Czech Republic was sending “machine guns, assault rifles, pistols, ammunition and artillery ammunition” with further assistance to be approved by the government on Sunday.
The Netherlands will send 50 ‘Panzerfaust 3’ anti-tank weapons with 400 missiles and 200 Stinger missiles to Ukraine.
“In addition, the Ministry of Defense is investigating the possibility of supplying a Patriot air defense unit with Germany to a NATO battle group in Slovakia,” the Dutch Defense Ministry said.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said his country would provide Ukraine with 2,000 automatic rifles and 3,800 tons of fuel.
Portuguese leader Antonio Costa said on Friday that his country would send 175 troopers to help Ukrainian soldiers on the ground to secure their borders.
The following day, the country’s Ministry of Defense said it would supply Ukraine with military equipment such as “vests, helmets, night vision goggles, grenades and ammunition of different calibers, complete portable radios, analogue repeaters and G3 automatic rifles.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin explained the launch of the military operation by the necessity to “demilitarize” Ukraine, to protect the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and to ensure that Russia would not be placed under threat by NATO from Ukrainian territory. These arguments, however, have not convinced the West, which responded to Moscow’s actions by introducing harsh sanctions.