Ukraine: Boris Johnson says 'now is the time to intensify help'
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Speaking to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said Ukraine’s recapturing of Snake Island showed the “difficulty” Russia faces in trying to hold onto territory in a foreign land. He said it was imperative to “take advantage” of Putin’s “overstretched army” across the Donbas and reiterated his pledges to the eastern flank of Europe to ensure their security.
Mr Johnson said: “Now is the time to intensify our help for Ukraine because Putin’s Donbas offensive is slowing down and his overstretched army is suffering heavy casualties.
“And Ukraine’s success in forcing the Russians off Snake Island by sheer weight of firepower shows how difficult the invader will find it to hold the territory he has overrun.
“We need to equip our friends now to take advantage of the moment Putin will have to pause and regroup.
“So, NATO will supply Ukraine with another £1 billion of military aid, including air defences, drones and electronic warfare equipment, bringing our total military, humanitarian and economic support since February 24 to nearly £4 billion.
“And to guarantee the security of our allies on the eastern flank, NATO agreed in Madrid to bolster its high readiness forces and we in the UK will offer even more British forces to the alliance, including almost all of our circus fleet.
“We have already doubled our deployment in Estonia and we will upgrade our national headquarters to be led by a brigadier and help our Estonian friends to establish their own regional headquarters.
“If you follow the trajectory of our programmes to modernise our Armed Forces, Mr Speaker, you will draw the logical conclusion that the UK will likely be spending 2.5 percent of GDP on defence by the end of this decade.”
The Prime Minister’s statement comes as Liz Truss said today it is Britain and the free world’s duty to “do whatever it takes to support” Ukraine in rebuilding its economy as quickly as possible.
The foreign secretary told a recovery conference in Switzerland that the UK will “remain at Ukraine’s side” as the war-torn nation emerges “stronger and more successful” after the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told leaders gathered at the event that rebuilding Ukraine is the “common task of the whole democratic world”.
Ms Truss said the UK will champion the recovery of the capital of Kyiv and the surrounding region at Mr Zelensky’s request.
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But attempts to recover and rebuild are made more challenging by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to strike the capital with missiles as his forces make creeping advances in the east.
Ms Truss emphasised the need to “help Ukraine recover its economy in the shortest possible time frame” as she set out a vision to give immediate support and long-term commitments to work alongside the Ukrainians.
She said: “Ukraine’s recovery from Russia’s war of aggression will be a symbol of the power of freedom and democracy over autocracy. It will show Putin that his attempts to destroy Ukraine have only produced a stronger, more prosperous and more united nation.”
“The United Kingdom is resolute in its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and we will remain at Ukraine’s side as it emerges a strong and thriving democracy.
“We’ve led on support for Ukraine during the war and we will continue to lead in supporting the Ukrainian government’s reconstruction and development plan.”
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