Mon. May 27th, 2024

Rishi Sunak pledges £500m aid to Ukraine as Zelensky sends message to UK

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May15,2024

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised a £500m military aid package to Ukraine, which includes an array of long-range missiles, armoured vehicles, and boats. Mr Sunak, who had a detailed discussion with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky about air defence capabilities, announced the aid as he embarked on a diplomatic journey to Warsaw and Berlin for high-level talks with Poland, Germany, and NATO leaders.

During a conversation with reporters aboard his flight to Warsaw, Prime Minister Sunak confirmed: “I’d agree that air defence is one of the critical areas where Ukraine needs support.”

He recounted his morning discussion with Mr Zelensky, saying: “He (Mr Zelensky) and I were talking about air defence this morning. We’ve consistently provided air defence support to Ukraine from the very beginning.”

The Prime Minister highlighted their exchange on “the importance of long-range” weaponry and the necessity of setting “the right priorities and focus” for the forthcoming NATO and European Political Community summits.

Describing Mr Zelensky’s mood, Mr Sunak remarked that the Ukrainian leader was “in good spirits” and “very positive” about the latest US backing, as well as “very grateful” for the UK’s assistance.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister emphasised the need for European nations to invest in their own security and for NATO members to fulfil their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence.

Rishi Sunak, has welcomed the US House of Representatives’ decision to approve a crucial £49 billion aid package for Ukraine, calling it “very welcome”. However, he stressed that this does not diminish the need for European nations to invest in their security.

Sunak issued a stark warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not stop at the Polish border” if his assault on Ukraine is allowed to succeed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed gratitude for what he described as the “largest defence support package for Ukraine to date” from the UK. He said: “Storm Shadow and other missiles, hundreds of armoured vehicles and watercraft, ammunition all of this is needed on the battlefield.”

Zelensky thanked the UK and specifically Prime Minister Sunak for their strong demonstration of support and willingness to further develop defence co-operation, particularly focusing on maritime and long-range capabilities.

Sunak is set to discuss defence and security with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw. Accompanying him on his tour of European capitals are Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

Following his visit to Poland, Sunak will travel to Germany for one-to-one talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday.

Downing Street announced that the £500 million allocated for Ukraine will fund ammunition, air defence and UK-procured drones, as well as supporting engineering and the ramping up of domestic defence supply chains.

According to No 10, the funds are fresh from the Treasury reserve and not drawn from existing Ministry of Defence budgets.

This increase brings UK military funding for Kyiv to £3 billion in 2024/25, and to a total of £7.6 billion since the onset of Mr Putin’s full-scale invasion in 2022.

The pledged equipment encompasses around 400 vehicles, over 1,600 strike and air defence missiles, 60 boats and nearly four million rounds of small arms ammunition.

The weapons will be delivered “as quickly as possible” in response to “specific asks from the Ukrainian government and armed forces”, at a time when Kyiv “faces a difficult summer as Russia continues to ramp up its barbaric assault”, stated Mr Sunak’s official spokesman.

In his first face-to-face meeting with his Polish counterpart Mr Tusk, the Prime Minister will aim to bolster security, trade and diplomatic ties with Warsaw.

He will propose to deploy an RAF Typhoon squadron next year to conduct Nato air policing over Poland, where approximately 400 British troops are permanently stationed.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Rishi Sunak pledges £500m aid to Ukraine as Zelensky sends message to UK”
  1. It’s great to see Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stepping up to provide crucial military aid to Ukraine. The partnership between the UK and Ukraine in enhancing air defense capabilities is commendable. Let’s hope other European nations and NATO members follow suit in supporting Ukraine’s security needs.

  2. Why is it important for European nations to invest in their own security according to the article?

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