Sat. May 25th, 2024

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Warsaw on Tuesday to meet with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The discussions focused on Ukraine and broader European security issues, against the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. During the visit, Sunak announced an additional £500 million ($617 million) in military funding for Ukraine’s defense, emphasizing the importance of supporting Kyiv in its conflict with Russia.

In a statement released by Downing Street, Sunak stated, “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.” The British leader’s strong words reflect the seriousness of the conflict and the commitment of the UK to provide military aid to Ukraine.

Ahead of his trip, Sunak spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to reassure him of the UK’s steadfast support. A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that Sunak promised to provide additional funding to support Ukraine’s highest-priority capabilities, including ammunition, air defense systems, and drones. The Prime Minister noted that the funding package announced during his visit is the largest single-day announcement of military support to Ukraine by the UK.

Sunak’s visit to Eastern Europe comes at a crucial time, with Kyiv urging allies to increase the supply of ammunition and air defenses to combat Russian attacks. The UK’s pledge of over 1,600 strike and air defense missiles, alongside Storm Shadow long-range precision-guided missiles, 400 vehicles, and nearly four million rounds of small arms ammunition, reflects the growing international effort to support Ukraine.

During his visit, Sunak is also expected to discuss the European Sky Shield Initiative, a project aimed at enhancing NATO’s air defense capabilities in response to Russia’s missile strikes on Ukraine. The initiative involves joint procurement of short-, medium-, and long-range air defense systems, including the German-made Iris-T and the American Patriot system.

Following his meetings in Warsaw, Sunak will travel to Germany to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, where further discussions on European defense collaboration are expected. The visit underscores the UK’s commitment to bolstering European security and supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression.

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