Ukraine war: UK reaffirms Ukraine support on war anniversary

Ukraine war: UK reaffirms Ukraine support on war anniversary |

Image source, No 10 Downing StreetImage caption, Rishi Sunak said the UK would do "whatever it takes" for Ukraine to achieve victoryBy James GregoryBBC News

Political leaders in the UK have reaffirmed their support for Ukraine ahead of the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain was prepared to do "whatever it takes, for as long as it takes" to help Ukraine achieve victory.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said President Vladimir Putin's "cowardice and barbarity" would not prevail.

It comes a day after the UK announced further sanctions against Russia.

Saturday marks two years since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Sunak, who visited Kyiv last month to sign a new security agreement and announce an £2.5bn of military aid to Ukraine over the coming year, said "we must renew our determination" on this "grim anniversary".

"This is the moment to show that tyranny will never triumph and to say once again that we will stand with Ukraine today and tomorrow," he said.

"We are prepared to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, until they prevail."

  • UK targets Russian military with further sanctions

The prime minister's verbal commitment comes after Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron warned the United Nations against "fatigue" and "compromise".

Addressing the UN general assembly in New York on Friday, he said the world must "recognise the cost of giving up".

"Putin has said there will be no peace until Russia's goals have been achieved," he said.

The foreign secretary again urged the United States Congress to back a fresh package of military support for Ukraine.

The US has provided the most military aid to Ukraine during the conflict, according to the Kiel Institute, which tracks support.

But a bill promising almost $60bn (£50bn) in military aid may not pass Congress after opposition from some Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The UK announced a raft of new sanctions this week targeting individuals and organisations sustaining Russia's military, as well as six prison bosses following the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a fierce critic of Mr Putin and his war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer, hoping to enter Downing Street after the general election which is widely expected to be held this year, said the UK would support Kyiv "no matter who is in power in this country".

"The resistance of the Ukrainian people has inspired and humbled the world," he said.

"The UK and our allies will stand in solidarity with them until their day of victory."

The war in Ukraine has largely been at a stalemate in recent months, though Russia has appeared to make recent advances.

Last weekend, Ukrainian forces withdrew from the eastern city of Avdiivka – where they had battled a fierce Russian assault for four months despite being heavily outnumbered and outgunned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is expected to take part in a virtual meeting with G7 leaders on Saturday, has publicly urged western allies to provide more weapons or risk emboldening Russia's forces.

In a joint statement on behalf of more than 50 governments, including the UK, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: "We reiterate our demand to Russia to stop its war of aggression against Ukraine and to ensure the full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."


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