Ministry of Defence
Further support for Ukraine promised as Defence Secretary meets President Zelenskyy in Kyiv
The Defence Secretary met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his counterpart Rustem Umerov and promised further military support from the UK.
The UK will continue to support Ukraine to defend its sovereign territory, the Defence Secretary vowed during a meeting in Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Travelling to Kyiv on Wednesday with the UK Chief of the Defence Staff, Grant Shapps held meetings with his counterpart, Rustem Umerov, and made a personal commitment to continue the UK’s resolute support to Ukraine as they reclaim land taken following Putin’s illegal invasion.
The visit provided an opportunity to hold further discussions on military support with Defence Secretary Umerov, after they first met in Ramstein, Germany, during a meeting of 50 nations at last week’s Ukraine Defence Contact Group.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said:
It was an honour to meet President Zelenskyy in Kyiv to assure him that the UK will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, as we have since Putin illegally invaded Crimea nearly ten years ago.
We have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, delivered hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, and provided millions of pounds of economic and humanitarian aid to help Ukraine’s citizens reclaim and rebuild what has been taken from them by Putin’s barbaric invasion.
Having heard the experiences of so many Ukrainians affected by this war, including a family I hosted in my home for a year, I am committed to maintaining the UK’s military support – particularly as the freezing winter weather approaches.
The Defence Secretary previously visited Kyiv last month in his former role as Energy Security Secretary to discuss support for Ukraine’s recovery, visiting a children’s nursery previously attended by one of the Ukrainian children he hosted in his home.
The meetings provided an opportunity to discuss ongoing humanitarian support, as well as to discuss topics including Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO and its wider Euro-Atlantic integration.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, said:
It was a privilege to accompany the Defence Secretary to Kyiv and to meet with President Zelenskyy to underscore the continuity of the United Kingdom’s support for Ukraine.
We discussed new commitments of military aid that were made in Ramstein last week, which will help build Ukraine’s strength and resilience through the winter and beyond. The recent strikes on the Black Sea Fleet are another example of how Ukraine retains the initiative. Putin has lost control of the war he started, and Russia is diminished as a consequence. This visit, together with my visits over the summer, have reinforced my conviction that Ukraine will prevail. The UK will remain with them every step of the way.
The UK has led the way in global support for Ukraine, having been the first country to provide modern, Western main battle tanks and long-range precision strike cruise missiles, following decisions by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Further support has included more than 300,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, hundreds of vehicles and weapon systems, and thousands of items of personal protective equipment.
A UK-led international programme of training for Ukraine’s military, which is supported by ten other nations, has already trained more than 26,500 recruits and is on track to have trained more than 30,000 soldiers by the end of 2023.
Millions of pounds’ worth of economic aid has also been provided to Ukraine to help it rebuild its cities and infrastructure to ensure it can rebuild following the impact of Putin’s war. The UK hosted the Ukraine Recovery Conference in partnership with Ukraine this summer – raising more than $60 billion towards Ukraine’s reconstruction.
The Prime Minister pledged to further support Ukraine during the NATO leaders’ Summit in Vilnius in July.
The UK delivered £2.3bn in military aid to Ukraine in 2022 and the Prime Minister has pledged to do the same in 2023, with further support to be delivered in the coming weeks and months.
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