US clears Baltic states to send US-made weapons to Ukraine

The US State Department has given the go-ahead to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to send U.S.-made missiles and other weapons to Ukraine, three sources familiar with the decision said, as President Joe Biden predicted Russia would move on Ukraine.

Under export control regulations, countries must obtain approval from the State Department before transferring any weapons they received from the United States to third parties.

The third-party transfer agreements will allow Estonia to transfer Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, while Lithuania will be permitted to send Stinger missiles, said one of the sources.

The news emerged late on Wednesday after Biden told a news conference that Russia would pay dearly if it invaded Ukraine.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied planning to invade Ukraine, but the Kremlin has massed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, a buildup the West says is preparation for a war to prevent Ukraine from ever joining the NATO Western security alliance.

The situation has triggered grave concerns in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and other NATO allies, as well as among US lawmakers. A bipartisan group of US senators this week promised solidarity and weapons on a visit to Kyiv.

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