Rishi Sunak visits Kyiv as UK signs security agreement with Ukraine | UK News – 943hare

Rishi Sunak will visit Kyiv today as he announces a new package of military aid, security assurances and humanitarian support.

Mr Sunak will sign a UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – committing the UK to provide intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defence industrial cooperation.

The UK will also provide £2.5bn in military aid to Ukraine in 2024-25, an increase of £200m on the previous two years, the prime minister announced.

The package will provide the country with long-range missiles, air defence, artillery ammunition and maritime security.

Around £200m will also be spent on a push to procure and produce thousands of military drones.

It will be the largest delivery of drones to Ukraine from any nation, according to Downing Street. Most are expected to be manufactured in the UK.

The Ukrainian president has said his forces particularly need air defence systems to fend off Russian aerial barrages.

More than 500 drones and missiles were fired between 29 December and 2 January, according to officials in Kyiv.

The agreement comes as the Ukrainian president presses allies in the West to provide the country with more support to fight back against Vladimir Putin‘s Russian forces, amid fears interest in the war is flagging as the conflict drags on.

The crisis in the Middle East has also turned global attention away from the conflict, as Israel continues to bombard Gaza – and the US and Britain launch strikes against military targets linked to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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Moments after Russian strike on Ukraine

Mr Sunak stressed the UK’s continued backing for Kyiv ahead of his meeting with President Zelenskyy.

He said: “For two years, Ukraine has fought with great courage to repel a brutal Russian invasion. They are still fighting, unfaltering in their determination to defend their country and defend the principles of freedom and democracy.”

“The UK will also not falter. We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come.

“The UK is already one of Ukraine’s closest partners, because we recognise their security is our security.

“Today we are going further – increasing our military aid, delivering thousands of cutting-edge drones, and signing a historic new security agreement to provide Ukraine with the assurances it needs for the long term.”

Read more:
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Some of that funding will support organisations like the UN and Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid on the frontline, and £8m will help fortify Ukraine’s energy infrastructure against further Russian attacks.

Funding and resources will also be provided for English language training in the country.

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Mr Sunak made his first visit to Ukraine in November 2022, weeks after entering Number 10.

The UK has been among the most vocal backers of Ukraine, with Mr Zelenskyy visiting London early last year in a historic trip.

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