Baltics pledge support to developing Ukraine's armed forces

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The defense ministers of the three Baltic states have pledged further practical assistance to Ukraine in reforming and developing its armed forces, reported LETA news agency on Tuesday, referring to a statement by the Latvian Defense Ministry.

Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis, Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas and Estonian Defense Minister Hannes Hanso are visiting Ukraine this week.

They met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and also visited the military training center in Yavoriv in western Ukraine.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting of ministers, Bergmanis said he was convinced about Ukraine's determination to build a strong army and Latvia was willing to help Ukraine with these efforts. 

The Baltic defense ministers confirmed their willingness to continue cooperation with Ukraine in military training, medicine, psychological counseling and development of the military chaplain service, cyber security, logistics, and other areas.

So far Latvia has contributed EUR 50,000 of financial aid to Ukraine through a NATO trust fund and is also providing other support, including medical treatment and rehabilitation for 25 Ukrainian soldiers, studies of Ukrainian representatives at the Baltic Defense College, etc.


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