Rishi Sunak will meet UK troops in Estonia and Nordic and Baltic leaders at a summit on counter Russian aggressionwhere he will say that the leaders must maintain or exceed their support for lethal aid to Ukraine and their political backing.
Monday’s meeting will come after it was reported that the UK prime minister flummoxed some in Whitehall by calling for a “dashboard from Goldman Sachs” on the progress of the war and how UK military supplies are being used. according to the bbc.
Sunak will try to reaffirm his commitment to support Ukraine’s war effort. He will announce that the UK will supply hundreds of thousands of artillery munitions next year to Kyiv in a £250m contract as part of a military aid package, which already includes rocket systems and anti-aircraft guns.
The prime minister will travel to Latvia for the meeting of leaders of Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) countries, including Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and the Netherlandswhich will be addressed by the President of Ukraine Volodomyr Zelenksiy.
“From the Arctic Circle to the Isle of Wight, the UK and our European allies have been in unison in our response to the invasion of Ukraineand we stand firm in our ambition for peace in Europe once again,” Sunak said before the visit.
“But to achieve peace, we must deter aggression and our joint deployments across the region are vital to ensure we can respond to the most serious threats. I know that this Joint Expeditionary Force summit will only underscore our close friendship and unwavering support for Ukraine.”
No 10 said the meeting would also discuss intelligence sharing between the JEF countries, threats to infrastructure and hybrid threats posed by Russian aggression and bolstering support for Finland and Sweden before joining NATO. More announcements on joint military exercises are also expected.
Sunak is then expected to fly to Estoniawhere he will meet with UK and NATO troops serving on the eastern flank of the military alliance on the border with Russia.
Ukrainian military figures have renewed their efforts in recent days to implore the West for more weapons to regain the initiative against Russiaafter a series of victories in the east of the country, but with both sides deadlocked and Russian missile attacks on cities and critical infrastructure.
A source told the BBC that Sunak had recently requested an assessment based on data on the progress of the war and the importance of the UK’s military contributions to Ukraine, suggesting there are tensions in Whitehall over the current aid strategy. lethal.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, chief of the Defense Staff, told the Royal United Services Institute last week that the Ukrainians would be dependent on more arms supplies.
“Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response. This explains why Russia is losing. And the free world is winning… As long as we maintain our cohesion and determination, the true victory within our grasp is that much more significant,” she said.
The head of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, said more supplies would be needed to make more profit. “We need tanks, we need APCs [armoured personnel carriers], infantry fighting vehicles. And we need ammunition.