UK to provide extra £500m to Ukraine, pledges to increase spending on defense

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The UK will provide an additional £500m to Ukraine on top of the £2.5bn allocated for this financial year and put the defense industry on a ‘war footing,’ the British prime minister said.

Rishi Sunak  arrived in Poland to meet Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the secretary general of the NATO defense alliance  Jens Stoltenberg and promised more money to support Ukraine.

Mr. Sunak said Britain would increase defense spending to 2.5% of GDP by the end of the decade, describing the hike as the “biggest strengthening of our national defense for a generation.”

“In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War, we cannot be complacent,” he said at a joint news briefing with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.  “As our adversaries align, we must do more to defend our country, our interests and our values.”

The  British prime minister will head to Berlin to meet the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday.

Europe confronts an „expansionist Russia” and Ukraine faces a „difficult summer”, Downing Street said on Tuesday.

„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,” Mr.Sunak said.

Ukraine and Poland share a 500-kilometer border. The British PM is expected to argue that Europe should give more ammunition, air defenses, drones and engineering support.

In what it is billing as it largest-ever single delivery of equipment, the UK is sending more than 1,600 strike and air defense missiles, and additional Storm Shadow long-range missiles.

There will also be more than 400 vehicles, including 162 armored vehicles, 60 boats, including offshore raiding craft, and nearly four million rounds of ammunition.

The additional £500m in funding for this year would also be put towards drones made in the UK, Downing Street said.

The announcement comes after the US House of Representatives finally approved $61 billions in military aid for Ukraine.

The much-delayed measure needed a bipartisan deal to get the package through as it faced vocal opponents in Congress. It will now go to the Senate, which is expected to pass it within the next few days before President Joe Biden signs it into law.

Ukraine thrown a lifeline as U.S. Congress approves aid bill to beat back Russia

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