Zelensky Visits Baltic States Begging For More Weapons

Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Latvia, the final stop on his Baltic mini-tour where he has been appealing for further support, particularly in the form of missiles for Ukraine’s air defence system.

Ukraine has proven stopping Russia is possible, but it “badly” needs modern air defence systems, the Ukrainian President said as he toured European nations again, seeking more arms for his defensive war against Russia.

Breitbart reports: His visits to the first two tour stops Lithuania and Estonia were fruitful, with new support packages announced, and he arrived in Latvia, the final stop, on Thursday afternoon.

As ever, requesting more air defence missiles was a major focus of Zelensky’s trip. He said on Wednesday while in Lithuania that while “we have proven that Russia can be stopped, that deterrence is possible”, the country still lacks “modern air defence systems badly… [they are] what we need the most.” Nevertheless, Zelensky acknowledged there were already shortages and producing more advanced missiles in a hurry isn’t something Western defence contractors were necessarily geared up for.

He said: “Warehouses are empty. And there are many challenges to world defence”. Seeking to overcome this, Zelensky has been trying to persuade Western defence businesses to set up shop in Ukraine itself, and had some success with this programme yesterday, as the Ukrainian state defence company signed deals with four Lithuanian defence firms.

In Latvia on Thursday evening President Edgars Rinkēvičs said he was preparing a new support package to Ukraine including “155mm ammunition, anti-tank weapons, missiles, grenades, helicopters, drones, communication devices, generators, and equipment”.

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The Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda hailed Zelensky on Wednesday and said his country wanted to see “Ukraine’s complete victory” in the “tiring” conflict as soon as possible. Lithuania pledged $220 million in new support for Ukraine.

The President of Estonia, where Zelensky travelled on Wednesday night, said the West had done much to support Ukraine but it should do more. President Alar Karis said: “there is the hope that this will remain the last military aggression in Europe, where someone wants to dictate to their neighbour with missiles, drones and cannons what political choices can be made”.

Estonia pledged $1.3 billion over the next three years. The trio of Baltic states are considered stalwart allies of Ukraine given their own history of being invaded and occupied by Russia.