Latvia will provide Ukraine with additional military assistance to defend itself against Russia. The next aid package will include howitzers, 155 mm artillery ammunition, anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems as well as rocket launchers, all-terrain vehicles, hand grenades, helicopters and other equipment, said President Edgars Rinkevics in Riga after a meeting with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelensky. Latvia also wants to train 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers this year and support Ukraine in the production of drones.
According to Rinkevics, Latvia has already provided aid worth around 600 million euros - the equivalent of one percent of the gross domestic product of the Baltic EU and NATO country. Zelensky thanked Latvia for its “unwavering support.” Earlier in the day he had visited Latvia's neighbor Estonia, which is also helping Ukraine.
Ministers want to initiate a possible meeting between Orban and Zelensky
In the dispute over EU aid funds for Kiev blocked by Hungary, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban could soon meet with Zelensky. The foreign ministers of both countries, Peter Szijjarto and Dmytro Kuleba, want to discuss this on January 29th in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, as both sides announced. The head of Zelensky's office, Andriy Yermak, should also take part in the meeting, said Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko.
Orban maintains good relations with Russian President Waldimir Putin. At the last EU summit, Orban vetoed the planned special payment of 50 billion euros for Ukraine. This issue will be discussed again at the next EU summit in February.
Ukraine continues to struggle for a stricter mobilization law
Ukraine is also continuing to struggle for a stricter law that would enable the recruitment of urgently needed soldiers for the front. Parliament initially returned a first draft to the government. “Some positions directly violate human rights and others are not optimally formulated,” wrote the parliamentary group leader of the presidential “Servant of the People” party, David Arachamija, on Telegram. Defense Minister Rustem Umjerov said a little later that a new version had already been worked out and would be presented soon.