No arms to Ukraine, vows PM

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Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said Tuesday that Latvia would not follow the example of neighboring Lithuania by sending arms to government forces in Ukraine.

Speaking on LTV's Rita Panorama morning news show, Straujuma said that instead of arms Latvia would continue to support Ukraine by means of training and humanitarian aid.

"Every country must make its own decision. Latvia is providing support to Ukraine in a different way. I believe that the Ukrainian armed forces need reforms, so we are organizing seminars, training for specialists, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid," said Straujuma.

On November 24 during talks in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said her country would send arms to boost government forces fighting rebels in eastern Ukraine as well as providing military training.

A few days earlier she described Russia, which is backing the rebels, as a "terrorist state" prompting an immediate response from the Kremlin with reports suggesting Lithuanian trucks and cars are no longer being allowed to enter Russia.

Latvia has already sent several consignments of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including most recently a consignment of emergency electricity generators worth €40,000. 

The BNS newswire reported that on Tuesday the Cabinet approved spending €13,700  on a joint seminar of the Latvian and Ukrainian defense ministries.

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