On Wednesday, January 18, Latvian Defense Minister Ināra Mūrniece visited Kiev to meet with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada President Ruslan Stefanchuk. Following her meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart, Ināra Mūrniece provided details on the new military aid that Latvia plans to provide Ukraine in the near future.
Ināra Mūrniece, Latvia’s Defense Minister, announced that Latvia will send new military support packages to Ukraine in the near future, including Stinger MANPADS, helicopters, ammunition, machine guns, and drones. The defense minister also stated that Latvia will continue to train soldiers of various ranks in the Ukrainian Armed Forces this year in a variety of programs ranging from basic infantry training to specialized courses, with the number at least doubling from 2022. “We, Latvia, are not only listening to what the President of Ukraine, the Minister of Defense, and the Armed Forces say. We hear what Ukraine asks for to be able to resist and defeat the aggressor. And we are taking action,” Ināra Mūrniece added.
After visiting Kiyv, Mūrniece met with Estonian, United Kingdom, Poland, Lithuanian Defense Ministers and representatives of Denmark, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Slovakia at Estonia’s Tapa Military Base. During the meeting, the European allies talked about a new comprehensive list of military aid they called the Tallinn Pledge and announced their goal of ending the war with Ukraine’s victory. The list of military aid also included information on the aid announced by Latvia’s Minister of Defense in Kiyv. According to this, the helicopters mentioned by Latvia are two Mil Mi-17s, and the number of Ukrainian soldiers to be trained in 2023 will be 2000. Latvia will also supply spare parts for the Ukrainian forces’ self-propelled M109 howitzers, according to the list.
Latvia has already contributed more than 314 million euros to Ukraine. This equates to nearly 1% of the country’s GDP. The Latvian government has provided approximately 300 million Euros in military aid to Ukraine, with the remainder being funds donated by the Latvian people.