The United Kingdom has pledged to provide a further 1.3 billion pounds, or $1.6 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine, marking the country’s highest rate of military spending after its engagement in the Iraq and Afghanistan war campaigns.
The pledge was announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky scheduled for Sunday.
“Putin’s brutal attack is not only causing untold devastation in Ukraine – it is also threatening peace and security across Europe,” Reuters quoted Johnson as saying.
One of the strongest supporters of Ukraine’s efforts to resist Russia’s invasion, Johnson became the first Western leader to address Ukraine’s parliament since the start of the war. Last week, Johnson hailed Ukraine’s resistance announcing that Britain would provide 300 million pounds ($375 million) more in military aid to Ukraine, on top of the UK’s existing 200 million pounds (nearly $247 million) support allocated to Kyiv by that time.
If the UK Treasury approves, the funds will come out of British emergency reserves and will include 300 million pounds in military equipment promised by Johnson.
The package includes electronic warfare equipment, radar systems to detect Russian artillery, GPS jamming equipment, and thousands of night-vision devices, alongside specialized vehicles to help evacuate Ukrainian civilians.
The UK PM has also pledged to send sophisticated land Brimstone missiles and Stormer air defense vehicles to support Ukraine’s ongoing defense efforts.
On February 24, Russia launched an all-out offensive in Ukraine, claiming that the assault was aimed to protect the people of the separatist-controlled regions in Ukraine, allegedly being subjected to abuse by the Ukrainian military. The Kremlin explained that the decision was made after separatist leaders of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics had asked Moscow for military support against Kyiv. In his televised address, Russian President Vladimir Putin told foreign countries not to interfere, saying it could lead to “consequences they have never seen.”
The West condemned Putin’s military actions, arguing that Russia launched an unprovoked war, which threatens to spiral into a much wider conflict. In response to Russia’s move, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and started supplying weapons to Ukraine. However, for some countries, such as Germany and Finland, this became a significant reversal of their previous defense policies that barred exporting weapons into war zones.
Russian authorities have repeatedly criticized western nations for their military assistance to Ukraine, arguing that the aid is not only fueling the conflict but also boosting the risk of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO powers.