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PM Sunak to visit Kyiv, announce $3.2 billion military aid package

by Dinara Khalilova January 12, 2024 10:07 AM 2 min read
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak exiting 10 Downing Street in London on Sept. 6. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit Kyiv on Jan. 12 to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and announce a major new military aid package for Ukraine, including largest-ever commitment of drones, the U.K. government reported.

U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron said earlier this month that support for Ukraine within the country is bipartisan and not as controversial as in the U.S. and that London is ready to help for many years to come.

Sunak is set to announce in Kyiv that the U.K. will provide Ukraine with 2.5 billion pounds (around $3.2 billion) in military aid in 2024-2025, which is 200 million pounds more than in the previous two years.

“The funding will help to leverage the best of U.K. military expertise and defense production to ensure Ukraine’s victory on the battlefield, including in critical areas like long-range missiles, air defense, artillery ammunition, and maritime security,” the U.K. government wrote in a press release published on Jan. 12.

Of the 2.5 billion pounds, at least 200 million will be spent to procure and produce thousands of military drones for Ukraine, including surveillance, long-range strike, and sea drones, reads the press release.

“This will be the largest delivery of drones to Ukraine from any nation.”

Sunak and Zelensky are also set to sign a historic U.K.-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation, the first finalized bilateral agreement on security guarantees under the Group of Seven (G7) declaration.

The agreement reportedly “formalizes a range of support the U.K. has been and will continue to provide for Ukraine’s security, including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defense industrial cooperation.”

The document will also commit the U.K. to consult with Ukraine if the country is ever attacked by Russia again and to provide “swift and sustained” assistance for Ukraine's defense.

During his visit to Ukraine, Sunak is also expected to meet emergency workers responding to the aftermath of Russian attacks. There, he will announce a further 18 million pounds (around $23 million) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, building on almost 340 million pounds ($434 million) already provided.

Some of these funds will go to organizations like the U.N. and Red Cross, supporting civilians in front-line areas, and eight million pounds ($10 million) will help fortify Ukraine's energy infrastructure against Russian strikes.

According to the U.K. government, London will also provide additional funding and resources for English language training in Ukraine.

Including the latest funding, the U.K. has provided almost 12 billion pounds (over $15 billion) in support to Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

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