• Sun. Apr 2nd, 2023

    Time to double down on Ukraine support — Sunak


    Feb 18, 2023

    MUNICH — “Now is the moment to double down on our military support”, Sunak said while speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is “betting that we will lose our nerve”, he said, in an echo of Kamala Harris’s comments earlier.

    He says the UK must prove Putin wrong, and goes on to speak about the importance of bolstering Ukraine’s “long-term security”.

    The UK prime minister went on to call for a new security framework that would protect non-NATO countries such as Ukraine against future aggression from Russia.

    Later in his speech, he said winning in Ukraine would represent a triumph over wider global threats. He wants “a victory over the very idea of ​​war”.

    Sunak is also asked about the potential supply of fighter jets to Ukraine — something Western nations have so far hesitated to do.

    He noted that there are “complications” with providing certain types of aircraft, but said the UK is training Ukrainian fighters to use the jets at a NATO standard, and in NATO-standard aircraft.

    And he added that the UK would “happily support other countries” if they had the ability to provide jets immediately.

    Sunak responded to questions from Ukrainian audience members about the timely provision of weapons to Kyiv — and he responded by reiterating the urgency of the situation.

    “Now is the moment to act,” he said. “My pitch to people is to remember, you know: what do we have those stockpiles for?”

    As well as Ukraine, Sunak was asked about reports that the UK is close to agreeing with the EU a new post-Brexit arrangement for trade in Northern Ireland.

    The prime minister said “there isn’t a deal” yet, but there was “an understanding of what needs to be done”.

    Speculation has been building for weeks that a compromise is close. Hopes were raised still further Friday, after Sunak met leaders of Northern Ireland’s five main parties in Belfast yesterday. Each politician gave cautiously upbeat assessments after individual meetings with the PM.

    Positive noises came out of Europe, too, with a senior official hailing “constructive” talks with the UK foreign secretary and “good progress”. BBC


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