Liz Truss commits UK to give Ukraine at least £2.3bn in military aid
Liz Truss is committing to spend at least £2.3 billion next year on military aid to help Ukraine fend off Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The Prime Minister pledged the UK will match or exceed the record support given to Volodymyr Zelensky’s “inspirational” troops.
Ms Truss announced the support as she prepared to fly to New York, where she will use a United Nations summit in the US to rally support in helping Ukraine fight Russia.
She will also try to rally world leaders to end energy dependence on Mr Putin’s gas as he turns the taps off on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Ukraine’s victories in recent weeks have been inspirational
“By turning off the taps of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, Putin has consigned millions of people in Europe to a colder and more difficult winter,” the Prime Minister said before departing for the US.
“Too many lives – in Ukraine, in Europe and around the world – are being manipulated by a dependence on Russian energy. We need to work together to end this once and for all.”
Ms Truss praised the success of Mr Zelensky’s troops in seizing back around 3,000 square kilometres that had been captured by the Russians as she pledged to at least match last year’s military aid.
“Ukraine’s victories in recent weeks have been inspirational. Time and time again these brave people have defied the doubters and showed what they can do when given the military, economic and political support they need,” she said.
“My message to the people of Ukraine is this: the UK will continue to be right behind you every step of the way. Your security is our security.”
The spending commitment was not based on the real terms figure taking inflation into account, but Ms Truss was not ruling out spending more.
In 2022, Britain was second only to the US in terms of military aid sent to Ukraine.
Ms Truss’s official spokesman said she will warn allies at the New York summit that now is not the time to “take our foot off the gas” in opposing Mr Putin’s war.
“Quite the opposite, she will be very clear that UK support to Ukraine will not falter,” he added.
“We will continue to act to restore sovereignty and self determination to Ukraine. Because this isn’t just Ukraine’s fight, the whole world suffers when a regime like Putin’s is allowed to bully and blackmail its neighbours.”
Retired General Sir Richard Shirreff, a former Nato deputy supreme allied commander in Europe, said he was “delighted” with the Prime Minister’s support for Ukraine but called for “significant defence spending”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Now is the time for Nato to take risk, to ramp up the support that Ukraine needs.”
He added: “But as Nato takes risk it has to manage that risk and the way Nato manages that risk is to be prepared for the worst case, and the worst case is war with Russia.”
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