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UPDATE: UK PM visits Poland, announces major military aid package for Ukraine

23.04.2024 17:30
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a major military aid package for Ukraine during a visit to Warsaw on Tuesday, news outlets reported.
Polands Prime Minister Donald Tusk (centre), Britains Rishi Sunak (left), and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg (right) meet in Warsaw on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk (centre), Britain's Rishi Sunak (left), and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg (right) meet in Warsaw on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Sunak travelled to Poland on Tuesday "to announce a massive uplift in military support for Ukraine," including GBP 500 million in additional military funding and Britain's "largest-ever delivery of vital equipment," his office said in a statement.

He met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss deepening bilateral relations, according to the statement, and the two leaders held talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in the Polish capital on European security and support for Ukraine.

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

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."

Britain's defence ministry will send the "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 during his trip to Warsaw he aimed 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 was 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 was also expected to announce "an intention to triple UK Export Finance funding available for Poland" from GBP 5 million to GBP 15 million, his office said.

It added that bilateral trade between Britain and Poland has doubled in the last decade to reach GBP 30.6 billion.

Poland's Tusk told reporters that Tuesday's visits by Sunak and NATO's 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