As the UK offers hundreds of thousands of more ammunition rounds to Kyiv, Rishi Sunak will today urge on European partners to surpass this year’s level of assistance for Ukraine in 2023.
The Prime Minister will announce a £250million deal that will guarantee a continual supply of artillery ammunition to Ukraine next year. He is in Latvia to meet with other members of the UK Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).
Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Dutch, Swedish, and British leaders will attend, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenksy will speak.
He said: ‘The UK and our European allies have been in lockstep in our response to the invasion of Ukraine, and we remain steadfast in our ambition for peace in Europe once again. But to achieve peace, we must deter aggression and our deployments across the region together are vital in ensuring we are able to respond to the gravest of threats.
‘I know this Joint Expeditionary Force summit will only underline our close friendship and unwavering support for Ukraine.’ The UK remains one of the leading backers of Kyiv’s military efforts against Russian forces, providing more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition since February.
The PM will urge JEF members to continue lethal assistance, economic resilience, and political support for Ukraine in 2023.
Leaders will address Mr. Zelenksy’s troops’ defensive needs, particularly air defence. They should also boost JEF collaboration, information sharing, hybrid threat defences, and national infrastructure.
Leaders will discuss supporting Finland and Sweden, who are set to join Nato.
After seeking a data analysis of the UK’s help so far, there are worries Mr Sunak may ease off on Ukraine, although Downing Street has pushed down on such assertions.
Last week, a Whitehall insider told the BBC: ‘Wars are won on instinct. At the start of this it was Boris sitting down and saying: ‘Let’s just go for this’ – so Rishi needs to channel his inner Boris on foreign policy though not of course on anything else.’
The source said Mr. Zelensky’sensed what was going on’ and asked Mr. Sunak to recommit.
After a surprise visit last month, the PM said: ‘Britain knows what it means to fight for freedom.
‘We are with you all the way.’
Mr. Sunak will meet with Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins before travelling to Estonia, where he will meet UK and Nato soldiers and establish a technology partnership with Premier Kaja Kallas.