Sweden to give 5,000 anti-tanks to Ukraine, FM tells Kurdistan 24
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Sweden will provide embattled Ukraine with 5,000 anti-tank weapons to help it defend itself against invading Russian forces, the country's Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday.
"The government has now decided to send 5,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine," Linde told Kurdistan 24.
The move marks the first time Sweden has provided military aid to a country at war since 1939.
Despite being outnumbered and outgunned by the Russian forces, the Ukrainian armed forces have put up a fierce resistance since Russia launched the invasion last Thursday.
"We do not see any direct threat to Sweden. But when Russia launches assaults on a democratic and free country like Ukraine, it definitely puts pressure on the people and officials of the surrounding countries. Thus, it puts pressure on Sweden as well," Linde told Kurdistan 24.
On Wednesday, four Russian fighter jets briefly "violated" Swedish airspace, the country's defense ministry announced in a statement.
"Against the background of the current situation, we are taking the incident very seriously," Carl-Johan Edstrom, the Chief of Sweden's Air Force, said on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Swedish Foreign Ministry summoned Russian officials in Stockholm over the incident.
"Although we (already) have a strong defense, per the [Sweden] prime minister's order, the defenses will be further strengthened," Linde said.
As a result of the ongoing conflict, more than 1,000 people have been killed, and over a million have fled the eastern European country.
Russia's bombardments of major Ukrainian cities recently intensified, despite the two rounds of talks held with Ukrainian officials since the invasion began.
On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a vote denouncing the Russian invasion and called on its troops to immediately withdraw from Ukraine.
Iraq, along with other 34 countries, abstained from voting.