UK promises more military aid to Ukraine to combat Russia
London: The UK government will send more military aid in the form of much-needed defence equipment to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In one of many regular phone calls between the two leaders on Saturday, Johnson said Britain would provide more mobility vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons as he condemned ongoing attacks by Russian forces against civilian targets, including in Mariupol, Odessa and Lviv.
He also updated Zelensky on new UK sanctions imposed against members of the Russian military and confirmed that the UK would be reopening its embassy in Kyiv next week as a show of “support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.
“The Prime Minister confirmed that the UK is providing more defensive military aid, including protected mobility vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons. President Zelenskyy thanked the Prime Minister for the training of Ukrainian military personnel currently taking place in the UK,” a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said in a readout of the call.
“The Prime Minister said that Russia would be held to account for its actions and that the UK government was helping collect evidence of war crimes. He also updated the President on new UK sanctions designations against members of the Russian military and confirmed that the UK would be reopening its embassy in Kyiv next week, demonstrating our support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” the spokesperson said.
President Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin are both due to meet United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the coming week.
Ahead of planned meetings, Johnson and Zelensky agreed on the importance of establishing a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to leave Mariupol.
“The Prime Minister said that Russia would be held to account for its actions and that the UK government was helping collect evidence of war crimes,” Downing Street said.
“Both leaders discussed how the UK will work with partners to develop a long-term security solution for Ukraine and the Prime Minister noted the discussions taking place with international partners to provide further financial support, including at the G7 Finance Ministers’ meeting last Wednesday,” the statement added.
Zelensky updated Johnson on the situation in the Donbas, where Russia is now seen concentrating its military efforts in a conflict that broke out in February.
In a press conference in a Kyiv metro station later on Saturday, Zelensky said he was “satisfied” with the level of military support coming from the UK.
“We want more than we’re being given, but we’re satisfied,” he told reporters.
“We cannot refuse or reject anything during the war from the biggest military aid, which is coming from the United States and the United Kingdom. There are many other friends in Europe, but I’m talking about volumes of help and I’m grateful for it,” he said.