Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite claimed Russia is practically at war with Europe ahead of a meeting with European Union leaders which will likely result in more sanctions on Russia.
“It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe,” Ms. Grybauskaite said according to The Daily Mail.
“That means we need to help Ukraine to … defend its territory and its people and to help militarily, especially with the military materials to help Ukraine to defend itself because today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe,” she added.
Ms. Grybauskaite made the dramatic statement after officials in Kiev accused Moscow of using tanks to “flatten” the border town of Novosvitlivka.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, during and EU summit in Brussels Saturdya, said it was vital to address the “unacceptable” situation of Russian troops marching on Ukrainian soil and insisted that there must be “consequences” if troops are not withdrawn from the eastern part of the country.
Both Lithuania and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union for most of the communist state’s existence, but Lithuania is a member of both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union while Ukraine is in neither.
Like Ukraine, though, Lithuania has a significant Russian-speaking minority population that sees the government in Vilnius / Kiev as a foreign entity opposed to it. The NATO treaty declares that any military attack on Lithuania, or any member state, is an act of war against all, including the U.S.