In comments to Kyiv Post, Latvian Defense Minister Ināra Mūrniece explained that, according to estimates from her national military, it would take Russia five years to regain the military capacity that was diminished by its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

 "It's the estimation of our military. And that is why I'm doing my utmost to counter all [potential] ‘dark scenarios’ as a minister and as a politician," Mūrniece said.

 The defense minister stressed the necessity of new sanctions against Russia to stop it from developing new military technology and producing sophisticated weapons. But these sanctions alone would not stop Russia's attack.

 "Our position has always been very clear, and now a new package of sanctions is being prepared," Mūrniece said.

 "Yes, there are sanctions against Russia, and some people in the West presume that if there is a need to produce sophisticated military equipment, let's say, modern tanks and microchips, then [new sanctions] are necessary. But Russia may decide to build [older] tanks like the T-model. And build them on a massive scale."

 The next package of EU sanctions on Russia will focus on banning trade in dual-use technologies still being used in Russian weapons systems, diplomatic sources have said.

 NATO top military adviser told Reuters last Fall that Western sanctions are starting to hurt Russia's ability to make advanced weaponry for the war in Ukraine, although he added that Russian industry could still manufacture "a lot of ammunition."

EXPLAINED: How Ukraine Could Soon Achieve a ‘Significant Breakthrough’ in the South
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EXPLAINED: How Ukraine Could Soon Achieve a ‘Significant Breakthrough’ in the South

Western analysts have outlined three factors that need to hold true for Ukraine’s troops to make further progress in the south. Meanwhile, Russian sources sound more than a bit flustered.

 Mūrniece also told Kyiv Post, that Latvia is “reinventing conscription” and preparing more reservists in order to prepare for an uncertain future.

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