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Baltic FMs call on Germany to send tanks to Ukraine

The flags of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The flags of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Germany should grant permission to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as soon as possible, Estonian, Latvian Lithuanian foreign ministers said on Monday in Brussels.

EU foreign ministers met today to discuss support for Ukraine, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Estonian minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said: "My understanding is that a clear signal that tanks will be provided, that all those who ask will be given permission in the case of tanks, still needs to be developed. I hope it will emerge as soon as possible. But there are also differing views, which shows that there is also a debate about this at a higher level of decision-making in Germany."

Latvian foreign minister Edgar Rinkevics emphasized all three Baltic countries want Germany to give tanks to Ukraine.

"I think, at this point, there are no good arguments which explain why battle tanks, why air defense systems, cannot be provided [to Ukraine]," he said.

"The argument of Russia escalating does not work because Russia keeps escalating," he added.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said: "Russia has to understand - and the sooner the better - that this war will end badly for Russia. There is no way out of it. There is no negotiating your way out of it."

Asked if he was frustrated with Germany's refusal to send tanks, he said: "I wish I did not have to wait for one more day for tanks to be delivered."

The minister said support for an international tribunal into Russia's crimes of aggression was gaining strength.

Over the weekend, Baltic states' foreign ministers tweeted a joint appeal to Germany to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

"We, [Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian] Foreign Ministers, call on Germany to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine now. This is needed to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and restore peace in Europe quickly. Germany as the leading European power has [a] special responsibility in this regard," they wrote.

On Friday, at a monthly meeting of defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base, Germany blocked a proposal to send tanks to Ukraine.

Both Latvia and Estonia have both spent 1 percent of their budgets on providing military aid to Ukraine.

Reinsalu called for other nations to match this amount saying it would "make a difference".

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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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