Amidst the UK’s announcement of £2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine for the upcoming year, Rishi Sunak pledged that the country “will never be alone”. The highest yearly promise made by the UK since Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is this one.
While meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and signing the new agreement, the PM made the statement.
According to Mr. Sunak, Vladimir Putin “will not stop there” if he “wins in Ukraine,” thus the backing was essential.
According to officials, Ukraine will receive artillery shells, air defense, and long-range missiles as part of the package. Drones will cost about £200 million.
They added that the military package, which is for the upcoming fiscal year that starts in April, will lead to the biggest drone supply to Ukraine of any nation—the majority of which will be manufactured in the UK. Notably, the prime minister has chosen not to commit to a multiyear budgetary commitment.
In private, many politicians and prominent military officials had contended that doing so would more clearly communicate to Moscow Britain’s sustained support.
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Rather, than the previous two years, when the UK’s yearly military contribution to Ukraine was worth £2.3bn, Mr. Sunak has decided to pay £200 million more.
“An unshakeable hundred-year partnership between Ukraine and the UK” is what Downing Street described as beginning with this package of help.
In addition, £18 million will go toward humanitarian relief, strengthening Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, and increasing financing for online English language instruction.
Drones will provide Ukraine with an advantage in the upcoming years, according to BBC Breakfast’s James Heappey, the Minister of Armed Forces.
He continued: “They are drones that are being developed at pace, learning all of the lessons from what we’ve seen in Ukraine over the last two years.”
As the second-largest donor to Ukraine, he continued, the financing demonstrates that the UK is keeping up its leading stance in Europe.
The prime minister visited emergency services and Kyiv residents in addition to meeting with Mr. Zelensky at the Presidential Palace.
November 2022 was Mr. Sunak’s last visit to Ukraine, 15 months ago. He stated, “I am here today with one message: the UK will likewise not falter.” We’ll support Ukraine through its worst moments as well as future prosperous times.”
“The UK is already one of Ukraine’s closest partners because we recognize their security is our security,” he stated.
“Today we are taking it a step further, upping our military assistance, sending thousands of state-of-the-art drones, and inking a momentous new security deal to give Ukraine the long-term guarantees it requires.
“Ukraine has bravely fought against a vicious Russian invasion for the past two years. They are still battling, unwavering in their will to protect their nation and the values of democracy and freedom.”
The prime minister cited the UK as the first ally to sign a long-term security deal with Ukraine when questioned by BBC News if the UK should have instead announced a multi-year financial package.
“It sends a strong signal to Putin and others that we are here to stay,” he stated. “We are here to support Ukraine in the long term.”
Declaring that the deal would “lay the groundwork for our further work with our other partners,” Mr. Zelensky praised Mr. Sunak’s “personal leadership.”
Some bilateral guarantees of military and economic assistance are included in the UK-Ukraine agreement, to prevent Russian aggression before Ukraine’s NATO membership.
According to officials, the UK is the first of the G7 countries to sign the accord, which was promised at last year’s NATO summit in Vilnius by all seven of the world’s most powerful economies.
The UK’s promise follows months of pressure from Members of Parliament, who contended that for Ukraine to prepare its military, the government ought to have provided it with more certainty far sooner.
It also occurs at a time when the European Union and the United States are having difficulty reaching an agreement on their support packages, and Ukraine is in dire need of more missiles and shells.
With confidence, Mr. Sunak indicated that allies “will come together to continue to support Ukraine”.
Republicans in the US are obstructing a $60 billion (£47 billion) aid package for Ukraine to raise funds for combating migration near the country’s southern border.
A financing dispute with Brussels has also led to Hungary’s prime leader, Viktor Orban, blocking a €50 billion (£43 billion) aid package for Ukraine.