By John Ensor •
Updated: 12 Jan 2024 • 12:01
Rishi Sunak views bomb damage in Ukraine
Credit: Simon Walker No 10 Downing Street flickr
WITH the world’s focus primarily on the conflict in the Red Sea, is global attention shifting from the Ukrainian conflict?
In a surprising development, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit war-torn Ukraine, together with announcing a substantial military aid package. This significant gesture comes amid Volodymyr Zelensky’s calls for increased Western support.
Rishi Sunak is scheduled to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky, pledging £2.5 billion in military support over the next year.
The announcement was made as Zelensky continues to urge Western allies for more assistance against Russian aggression. The visit, occurring amidst other global crises, reaffirms the UK’s commitment to Ukraine.
The UK’s support, intensifying as the conflict persists, counters the waning interest among some allies. Sunak’s visit followed joint UK-US strikes against Houthi rebel targets in Yemen.
Emphasizing the UK’s resolve, Sunak stated, ‘For two years, Ukraine has fought with great courage to repel a brutal Russian invasion.
‘They are still fighting, unfaltering in their determination to defend their country and defend the principles of freedom and democracy. I am here today with one message: the UK will also not falter. We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come.’
This funding, an increase of £200 million from the past two years, will enhance Ukraine’s military capabilities. It includes long-range missiles, air defence, artillery ammunition, and maritime security.
A significant portion, around £200 million, will focus on the acquisition and production of military drones, marking the largest drone delivery to Ukraine from any country. These will be predominantly manufactured in the UK, aligning with Zelensky’s call for robust air defence systems.
During the one-day visit, Sunak and Zelensky are set to sign a new UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation. This follows the G7’s decision at last year’s Nato summit to offer bilateral security assurances to Ukraine.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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