London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Rishi Sunak: Ukraine's long-term security must be ensured now

Rishi Sunak: Ukraine's long-term security must be ensured now

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged world leaders to send the most advanced weapons to Ukraine now in order to secure its long-term future.

Mr Sunak told the Munich Security Conference that allies must give the country "advanced, Nato-standard capabilities".

He said now was the time to "double down" on military support.

Throughout the conference, Ukraine's allies have reiterated the case for defending the country.

The three-day gathering to discuss global security, taking place in Germany ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's invasion, provided a key test of Western support for Kyiv as both sides in the war prepare for spring offensives.

Ukraine's allies tried to demonstrate their resolve and tried to convince the Russian government that they will not give up or give in, even if the cost in "blood and treasure" increases in coming months.

Most of those who attended the conference - from heads of state and ministers to diplomats and spies - were from Europe or the US, including US Vice-President Kamala Harris and nearly 30 European heads of government. No Russian officials were invited.

Mr Sunak had said he wanted to "make sure other countries follow our lead" in providing battle tanks, and training soldiers and aviators on Nato-standard aircrafts.

In his speech in Germany, he said: "Ukraine needs more artillery, armoured vehicles and air defences, so now is the time to double down on our military support.

"When Putin started this war, he gambled that our resolve would falter. Even now he is betting we will lose our nerve.

"But we proved him wrong then, and we will prove him wrong now."

Calling for a new Nato charter to provide assurances of long-term support, Mr Sunak said allies "must demonstrate that we'll remain by their side, willing and able to help them defend their country again and again".

He went on to say that, as well as having a military strategy "to gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield", allies also needed "to rebuild the international order on which our collective security depends".

Mr Sunak said international law needed to be upheld in order to hold Russia to account. He also called for "a new framework" for Ukraine's long-term security, and said the international community's response had not been strong enough against Russia's aggression.

Before his speech, Mr Sunak met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and both agreed on the need to sustain "the record level of international support for Ukraine", a Downing Street spokeswoman said.


Mr Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also agreed on "the importance of giving Ukraine the military momentum they need to secure victory against tyranny" in a meeting on the conference sidelines, said No 10.

The unspoken question in Munich was what will happen if the participants meet this time next year and the war is still going on.

Of particular concern was whether the political and economic costs of the war could prove too much to bear, as the Russian leadership assumes, or the western alliance will stand firm behind Ukraine.

The uncertainty around these issues is another reason why allies want to step up support now, to ensure Ukraine can see off any Russian offensive and launch a counter-attack on its own. President Volodymyr Zelensky is not the only one urging speed.

Last week, the Ukrainian leader visited the UK, as well as Paris and Brussels, where he appealed for European leaders to supply his country with modern fighter jets.

The UK is to start training Ukrainian forces to fly Nato-standard jets and Mr Sunak has said "nothing is off the table".

But Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said there will be no immediate transfer of UK fighter jets to Ukraine.

He told the BBC it could take months to train pilots and the UK was instead focused on using alternative provision of air cover to Ukraine.

Some Nato member countries are also worried that giving jets to Ukraine would be viewed as escalating the war, risking direct confrontation between the Western military alliance and Russia.

Since Russia invaded on 24 February last year, the UK has spent £2.3bn on military assistance, making the country the second biggest donor behind the US. The government has said it plans to match this spending again this year.

Military equipment provided by the UK so far includes tanks, air defence systems and artillery.

However, Kyiv has become increasingly frustrated by the time Western weapons have taken to arrive. Deliveries of battle tanks - promised last month by countries including Germany, the US and the UK - are still thought to be weeks away from arriving on the battlefield.

During Mr Sunak's meeting with Ms Von der Leyen, the pair also had what Downing Street described as a "positive discussion" about fixing issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

They agreed there had been "very good progress to find solutions" but that "intensive work in the coming days is still needed" to get a deal on post-Brexit trading arrangements over the line, according to No 10.

It comes after sources suggested that a deal could be reached between the UK and the European Union as early as next week, after more than a year of negotiations.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
World Court Orders Immediate Halt to Israeli Offensive in Gaza
Understanding FLiRT COVID Variants and Their Impact
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
Global Life Expectancy Dropped By 2 Years Due To COVID-19
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
×