Poland ready to give Ukraine ammunition ‘for defensive weapons’
Poland is ready to supply Ukraine with ammunition for defensive weaponry, Polish National Security Bureau chief Paweł Soloch said on Jan. 31, making his country the latest to promise Ukraine military aid amid a menacing buildup of Russian troops around Ukraine’s borders.
“The decision to (offer to) supply the Ukrainian side with defensive ammunition was made in close consultation with (Poland’s) president; details will be worked out by (our) defense minister,” Polish media outlet Radio ZET reported Soloch as saying.
Asked whether the ammunition was intended for air defense, he confirmed that it was, Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform reported.
According to Soloch, the shipment will include tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Soloch added that Polish President Andrzej Duda was in daily communication with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. He added that Poland was ready to deliver the ammunition at Ukraine’s request: “The offer has been made to the Ukrainian side, (and) we’re waiting for an answer.”
Prompted by the looming threat of a new Russian offensive against Ukraine, the United States and Ukraine’s other partner countries have begun to supply Kyiv with weapons.
The United Kingdom delivered light anti-tank weapons to Ukraine on Jan. 19, and together with the Netherlands plans to provide additional military aid. Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said that Canadian government is also considering sending weapons to Ukraine.
In a joint statement by Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian defense ministers on Jan. 21, Estonia said it will send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, with Latvia and Lithuania supplying Kyiv with more Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
Estonia also says it’s ready to send Ukraine artillery, but that this has to be first cleared with Germany, where the equipment is produced, and Finland, which manufactures the corresponding ammunition.
On Jan. 23, the Unites States sent Ukraine a shipment of SMAW-D disposable shoulder-launched grenade launchers.
Russia has deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied parts of the country, according to the latest intelligence estimate by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
The United States sees indications that Russia is preparing for a major offensive against Ukraine by mid-February, according to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both U.S. and European officials.
According to U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House is looking at a range of options to dissuade Russia from a potential attack on Ukraine.
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