UK’s PM Sunak to announce $304m in new military aid for Ukraine

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to announce a new $304m package of military aid for Ukraine to bolster its counter offensive against Russia.

The package includes “hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery” and aims to ensure “a constant flow of critical artillery ammunition to Ukraine throughout 2023”, a statement from the prime minister’s office announced on Monday.

Sunak will make the announcement during a summit of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) in Latvia later on Monday, his office said.

The JEF summit brings together leaders from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and was called to discuss the “ongoing efforts to counter Russian aggression in the Nordic and Baltic regions”, the statement said.

At the meeting, Sunak will call on Nordic, Baltic and Dutch counterparts to maintain or exceed 2022 levels of support for Ukraine in 2023.

“The UK is already Europe’s leading provider of defensive aid to Ukraine, including sending Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and recently, 125 anti-aircraft guns,” the statement added.

“We have also provided more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition since February, with the deliveries directly linked to successful operations to retake territory in Ukraine.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the UK has committed some $7.43bn in aid, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a Germany-based group that tracks support for Kyiv.

The UK is the second-biggest donor nation to Ukraine after the United States, which has pledged some $51bn in humanitarian, financial and military aid, according to the Kiel Institute.

Sunak’s office said the British leader had updated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the latest aid last week.

The pair had met in person when Sunak visited Kyiv last month.

Zelenskyy is meanwhile expected to address the JEF summit in the Latvian capital, Riga, via video link, according to Sunak’s office.

The JEF meeting will also discuss further air defence support for Ukraine, which has been scrambling to fend off Russian missile attacks on its critical infrastructure, including its power grid, it said.

The discussions in Riga will also touch on support for Finland and Sweden ahead of their accession to NATO, it added.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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