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UK PM to announce major military aid package for Ukraine on Warsaw visit

23.04.2024 08:30
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will announce a major military aid package for Ukraine on his visit to Warsaw on Tuesday, his office has said.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.Photo: EPA/JASON ALDEN

Sunak will travel to Poland on Tuesday "to announce a massive uplift in military support for Ukraine, including £500m in additional military funding and our largest-ever delivery of vital equipment," his office said in a statement.

He will meet with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk "to discuss deepening UK-Poland relations," and the leaders will hold talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw on European security and support to Ukraine.

Sunak will then travel on to Germany to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, according to the statement.

"Ukraine is facing an existential threat as Russia continues its barbaric invasion, risking the security and stability of all of Europe," the UK Prime Minister's Office said in its statement.

It added that the GBP 500 million in additional UK military aid for Ukraine would be "used to rapidly deliver urgently-needed ammunition, air defence, drones and engineering support."

The British Ministry of Defence "will also send our largest-ever single package of equipment from the UK, designed to help push back the Russian invasion on land, sea and air," according to the statement.

The package comprises "60 boats including offshore raiding craft, rigid raiding craft and dive boats as well as maritime guns; more than 1,600 strike and air defence missiles, as well as additional Storm Shadow long-range precision-guided missiles; ore than 400 vehicles, including 160 protected mobility ‘Husky’ vehicles, 162 armoured vehicles and 78 all-terrain vehicles; and early 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition."

If Putin wins in Ukraine, 'he will not stop at Polish border': UK PM

Sunak said: “Defending Ukraine against Russia’s brutal ambitions is vital for our security and for all of Europe. If Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of aggression, he will not stop at the Polish border."

He added that he was travelling to Warsaw to deepen ties with Poland and commit "critical new military support" for Ukraine’s defence against Russia.

"Ukraine’s armed forces continue to fight bravely, but they need our support – and they need it now," Sunak said.

"Today's package will help ensure Ukraine has what they need to take the fight to Russia," he added.

While in Warsaw on Tuesday, Sunak is expected to "offer to deploy an RAF Typhoon Squadron to carry out NATO Air Policing over Poland next year," according to his office.

The British prime minister will also announce "an intention to triple UK Export Finance funding available for Poland from £5 million to £15 million – our most generous offer to a partner country to date," his office said.

It added that bilateral trade between the UK and Poland has doubled in the last decade to reach GBP 30.6 billion, "with 45 million bottles of Scotch whisky bought in Poland last year and UK firms bidding for £5bn worth of Polish opportunities across energy, defence, healthcare, and infrastructure."

Poland's Tusk told reporters on Monday that the upcoming visits by Sunak and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg were part of his government's efforts to rebuild Poland's security position in Europe amid Russia's war in neighbouring Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 784 of Russias war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAPgov.uk