The Estonian Defense Ministry is considering supplying the Ukrainian military with Javelin anti-tank missiles and 122-millimeter howitzers amid heightened tensions with Russia.
Defense Ministry official Peeter Kuimet told national television and radio station ERR that Estonia is planning to increase support for its ally since Russian troops have been conducting more military exercises on its border with Ukraine.
“We have supported the training of Ukrainian sappers, special forces, military medics, artillerymen, and have exchanged information since 2014…” he stated, as quoted by Interfax. “The Ministry of Defense has made a decision in principle to support Ukraine with weapons and ammunition in the current difficult security situation.”
Kuimet revealed that Estonia has received Javelin missiles and howitzers from other nations and plans to pass some of them along before they age and require more maintenance.
The Estonian Defense Ministry has not disclosed the number of weapons it plans to supply to the Ukrainian armed forces but said providing defensive assistance is not easy and would require US and Finnish permission as the manufacturers.
In addition to sending high-powered weapons, Estonia is considering increasing its so-called “soft aid” to Ukraine, including setting up a mobile field hospital and training Ukrainian military doctors.
Ukraine Border Tensions
Russia has reportedly been massing troops near the Ukrainian border and annexed Crimea in recent months. It has also allegedly begun diverting commercial air and rail systems to support its military activities in the area.
Moscow’s increased military activities near the border have sparked fears that it may start a new war with the former satellite nation of the USSR that Russia once exerted considerable political influence over during the post-Soviet era.
The US and other nations claim that Russia’s recent military activities are in preparation for a full-scale invasion in early 2022.
The Biden administration has repeatedly warned Russia over its recent actions and threatened to impose economic sanctions if Moscow does not de-escalate tensions.
“We made it clear to President Putin that if he makes any more moves, goes into Ukraine, we will have severe sanctions. We will increase our presence in Europe with our NATO allies, and it’ll just be a heavy price to pay for it,” US President Joe Biden said, as quoted by CNN.