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UK Defense Minister announces new Ukraine defense package during Odesa trip

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 7, 2024 9:27 PM 2 min read
To mark Ukrainian Navy Day on July 7, 2024 foreign and Ukrainian officials accompanied President Volodymyr Zelensky in Odesa to honor the memory of sailors who gave their lives in battles with Russia. (Office of the President)
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Less than 48 hours after the United Kingdom's new Defense Secretary John Healey took his post, Healey met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Odesa and announced a new package of defense aid on July 7.

The new aid announced includes more artillery guns, a quarter of a million ammunition rounds and nearly 100 precision Brimstone missiles. Healey also met with his counterpart, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

"There may have been a change in government, but the U.K. is united for Ukraine. As the new Defense Secretary, I will ensure that we reinvigorate Britain’s support by stepping up supplies of vital military aid," Healey said, in remarks posted on the UK government's website.

"Our commitment to stand with the Ukrainian people is absolute, as is our resolve to confront Russian aggression and pursue Putin for his war crimes."

Healey's visit was part of an event marking Ukraine's Navy Day, in which a delegation of foreign and Ukrainian officials accompanied Zelensky to Odesa to honor sailors who were killed.

Healy also directed UK officials to expedite an earlier defense package from April, to ensure it is delivered within the next 100 days. That package, worth 500-million-pounds ($617 million), was the U.K.'s largest single military aid package ever.

The Labour Party won elections in the U.K. on July 5 in a landslide victory, taking control of the government from the Conservative Party. Leaders of both parties have consistently supported Ukraine, so the elections were not expected to significantly alter the U.K.'s stance toward Ukraine.

Zelensky congratulates Labour Party’s Starmer on UK election victory
“Ukraine and the U.K. have been and will continue to be reliable allies through thick and thin,” President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on X.

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