A top Lithuanian government official has claimed that Russia may be close to winning against Ukraine due to ongoing problems with Western weapons deliveries.
Gabrielius Landsbergis, the head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely preparing “to dust off his plans for the day of victory” now that some Western nations are hesitating to provide more weapons to Kyiv.
His statement comes a few weeks after Slovakia announced that it will no longer send military aid to the war-ravaged nation following the election of populist Prime Minister Robert Fico.
“Europe’s inability to move forward with military support for Ukraine and the growing pressure on Ukrainian forces at the battlefield, I think he (Putin) might now be happily back to planning,” Landsbergis said prior to the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
‘Outgunned in 2024’
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that deliveries of artillery shells to his country had significantly dropped amid the situation in Israel.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also said the European Union would not be able to provide Kyiv with its promised one million artillery rounds by March 2024.
According to military analyst Serhiy Zgurets, the continuing decrease and delays in weapons and ammunition deliveries could leave Ukrainian troops outgunned in early 2024.
“The most difficult period of the next year is approaching,” he warned, adding that Ukraine needs about 3,000 to 8,000 rounds of ammunition per day, or at least 300,000 per month, to continue fighting Moscow’s forces.
With the current weapons delivery woes in Ukraine, the Lithuanian minister was asked if it would be best for Kyiv to consider negotiations with Russia to end the 21-month conflict.
Landsbergis said it would not be best.
He said any ceasefire or negotiations would only lead to victory for Russia because it would make Putin think that the defenders can no longer fight.
“There is no middle ground here… If it comes to a ceasefire and we try to push it through with the argument that we have been protecting Kyiv and other Ukrainian territories, it will be clear that this is Putin’s victory,” the minister said.