Boris Johnson chairs last Cabinet meeting as UK PM
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: File image

London: The UK will provide another 1 billion pounds of military support to Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at a NATO Leaders’ Summit in Madrid on Thursday.

This latest funding has been dubbed a new phase in the international community’s support to Ukraine. It will go towards capabilities including sophisticated air defence systems, uncrewed aerial vehicles, innovative new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of pieces of vital kit for Ukrainian soldiers.

“[Russian President] Putin’s brutality continues to take Ukrainian lives and threaten peace and security across Europe, said Johnson.

“As Putin fails to make the gains he had anticipated and hoped for and the futility of this war becomes clear to all, his attacks against the Ukrainian people are increasingly barbaric. UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defences against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine, he said.

Downing Street said the funding represents the first step in enabling Ukraine to go beyond their valiant defence against the illegal Russian invasion to mounting offensive operations against Russian ground forces in order to restore Ukrainian sovereignty.

The latest announcement brings the total UK military support since the outbreak of war to 2.3 billion pounds more than any country other than the United States.

Support so far includes more than 5,000 NLAW anti-tank missiles made in Northern Ireland, long-range multiple launch rocket systems, artillery systems, including 155mm self propelled guns, and rapid design and production of short to medium range persistent loitering munitions by a UK start-up company.

Last week, the prime minister also announced the UK was offering a comprehensive new training programme to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, helping them build long-term endurance in the face of continuing Russian barbarism.

“Britain’s commitment to Ukraine is real and constant and we will stand by them until Russia changes course. This military assistance will help them intensify their fight against Russian aggression and ensure they have the defence capabilities they need, said UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

The UK’s support to Ukraine represents the highest rate of UK military spending on a conflict since the height of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking at a special meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) leaders addressed by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday, Johnson called on allies to step up their support to provide the strategic resilience Ukraine needs in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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