Ukraine must be given advanced, Nato-standard capabilities, Rishi Sunak says
Ukrainian forces must be supplied with advanced, Nato-standard capabilities, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will tell the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
More needs to be done to boost Ukraine’s long-term security and banish Russian troops, he will say, according to Downing Street officials.
He will tell leaders at the summit that they must “double down” on military support for the war-torn country and for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“Now is the moment to double down on our military support,” Mr Sunak is expected to say.
“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.”
In an apparent attempt to encourage others to offer long-term training to Kyiv’s armed forces, he will warn leaders that Ukrainians are fighting for the security of all nations.
“We need to do more to boost Ukraine’s long-term security,” Mr Sunak is scheduled to say.
“We must give them the advanced, Nato-standard capabilities that they need for the future.
“And we must demonstrate that we’ll remain by their side, willing and able to help them defend their country again and again.
“What is at stake in this war is even greater than the security and sovereignty of one nation. It’s about the security and sovereignty of every nation.
“Because Russia’s invasion, its abhorrent war crimes and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric are symptomatic of a broader threat to everything we believe in.”
Mr Sunak will use his speech to argue that securing a lasting peace for Ukraine will require international law to be strengthened.
With the first anniversary of the conflict approaching, he will also press for a new plan to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty in the future.
The intervention follows Mr Zelenskyy’s visit to Britain, Paris and Brussels last week, when he made the case for fighter planes.
Mr Sunak used Mr Zelenskyy’s visit to announce a two-pronged approach to support for Ukraine, offering military kit immediately to fend off a Russian offensive and preparing its forces for the longer term, but not the requested planes.
To coincide with the war leader’s momentous trip, the UK government announced that Britain would extend its training mission — which has already seen 10,000 Ukrainian troops come to the UK — to cover fighter jet pilots, ensuring Ukraine can defend its skies using “Nato tactics” in the future.
The training of pilots is expected to commence in the spring, according to Downing Street officials.