Lithuania has agreed to buy 18 howitzers from France, both sides’ defense ministers announced Monday, as the Baltic country bolsters its arsenal due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Lithuania, a European Union and NATO member, decided to inject an additional 300 million euros ($312 million) into its 2022 defense budget as the Ukraine war ramped up security fears.
“Lithuania will buy 18 Caesar MarktII howitzers from France,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas tweeted alongside a photo with French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu.
“They will significantly strengthen” the capabilities of the Lithuanian armed forces, Anusauskas added.
Moscow’s attack on its former Soviet neighbor has spooked the small Baltic States, which fear they could be next.
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — all NATO members and part of the former Soviet Union — have come to Ukraine’s defense with military hardware and humanitarian aid.
Lithuania has said it sent military supplies worth “tens of millions” of euros, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, mortars, rifles, ammunition, and other equipment. Lithuanians also crowdfunded over five million euros to buy Ukraine another Bayraktar drone.