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Germany blocks Estonian arms exports to Ukraine: report

Germany reportedly refused to allow Estonia to send its German-made weapons to Ukraine. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania pledged support to Kyiv against possible Russian aggression.

Unlike the US, UK and Poland, Germany has opposed exporting weapons directly to Ukraine

Unlike the US, UK and Poland, Germany has opposed exporting weapons directly to Ukraine

Germany is said to be blocking Estonia from providing German-origin military support to Ukraine, US newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.

The report comes after the US State Department gave Estonia the green light to send US-made weapons to Ukraine.

According to the WSJ report, Berlin has refused to issue permits so that the weapons can be exported to Kyiv.

It all comes as Europe and the US fear that Moscow is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine, after it has gathered 100,000 troops on the border. Russia has denied it is planning an attack but says it could take unspecified military action if a list of its demands is not met.

Watch video 02:59

Ukrainian reservists prepare for possible Russian invasion

Germany refuses weapons deliveries to Ukraine

Although other NATO allies, including Britain and Poland, have also agreed to export weapons directly to Ukraine, the German government has so far declined to do so.

"Germany has not supported the export of lethal weapons in recent years," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a news conference on Friday.

Citing Estonian and German officials, WSJ reported that Berlin is applying the same principle to Estonia's arsenal because it originated in Germany.

"Hopefully we will get the approval from Germany," Kristo Enn Vaga, adviser to the Estonian defense minister told WSJ. "Estonia has shown that we want to help Ukraine in practical terms in any way we can"

German government officials have said they oppose sending weapons to Ukraine as they fear that such deliveries could push tensions higher and make negotiations more difficult.

Germany is one of the world's top arms producers and exporters, with sales increasing 21% from 2016 to 2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Baltic states pledge US-made weapons

All three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, said in a statement that they would be sending their US-made Javelin and Stinger missiles. 

"In light of Russia's increase in military pressure in and around Ukraine, the Baltic States have decided to answer Ukrainian needs and to provide additional defense related assistance," the statement said.

"This aid will further enhance Ukraine's capability to defend its territory and population in case of a possible Russian aggression," it added.

"We sincerely hope that Ukraine won't have to use these weapons," Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said.

The Lithuanian ministry said the weapons would be delivered "in the nearest future."   

jcg/fb (Reuters, AFP)

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US and Russia hold crisis talks on Ukraine