UK prime minister Boris Johnson will on Thursday reveal a £25mn financial package for Ukrainian armed forces alongside 6,000 defensive missiles, as part of efforts to step up western military and economic support to Ukraine.
In a meeting with his G7 and Nato counterparts in Brussels, Johnson is expected to urge leaders to double down on economic sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime and intensify defensive lethal aid, arguing that the world “cannot and will not stand by” in the face of Russian aggression.
“One month into this crisis, the international community faces a choice,” the prime minister said. “We can keep the flame of freedom alive in Ukraine, or risk it being snuffed out across Europe and the world.”
The additional £25mn from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office will come from the Conflict Security and Stabilisation Fund and will provide funding for the salaries and equipment of the Ukrainian police and armed forces. BBC World Service will also receive £4.1mn to counter disinformation within the region.
In recent weeks, Johnson has maintained regular contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier this month delivered a virtual address to the House of Commons.
In a call between the pair on Wednesday, Johnson emphasized his admiration for the Ukrainian army and said the continued “bombardment” of civilian areas including Mariupol was “unconscionable”.
“The prime minister set out his intention to use tomorrow’s G7 and Nato meetings to increase the pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime and work with partners to substantively increase defensive lethal aid to Ukraine,” a Downing Street spokesperson said on Wednesday.