Russia’s activities in the European region have been a cause of worry for many countries, now including Lithuania. The country has reached out to Germany for support as reports of Russia moving massive forces near Ukraine continue to crop up. Is Russia planning an invasion?
Russia Threatens Lithuania
Russia reiterated previously that its activities along the European region are to secure its interests, but its recent efforts near Ukraine have been viewed as otherwise. As Moscow continues to prepare for massive drills, experts contend that Russia may indeed be planning a Ukrainian invasion to be disguised through its military drills.
This is the same reason that has gotten parties like NATO and the United States worried, with Lithuania voicing its concerns as well.
Lithuania announced last Monday that it has signed its biggest ever arms deal for German-made armored vehicles. The decision came following the concerns of military resurgence of Russia near its territories.
According to Local, Lithuania, a Baltic NATO member, will purchase around 88 Boxer armored fighting vehicles for €386 million. The vehicles come from the German-Dutch ARTEC consortium and will be equipped with Israeli-made turrets.
“It’s a long-term investment into national defense and also a signal that Lithuania takes its security and investing in it seriously,” explained Defense Minister Juozas Olekas following the signing of the deal. The efforts are seen as part of Lithuania’s constant upgrading of its artillery since 2014. The country has been increasing its defense budget since 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea.
Russia Moving Missiles
Another report from Sydney Morning Herald claims that Russia may be moving buk missiles in the Donbass. Information came from Ukrainian intelligence agencies and defense analysts. According to observers, the Russia’s actions may be an attempt to change the existing terms of the shaky truce placed over the region. Analysts did argue that an open war is not yet possible but there could be provocations.
“We are still seeing, just about every day, new military hardware being moved into Crimea in and around the same areas,” said Kathleen Weinberger, a researcher for the Institute for the Study of War in the U.S. who specializes on Russia and Ukraine.