- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set to call on partners to increase Ukraine’s capability to stop Russian forces
- Comes as the UK prepares to supply longer range weapons to Ukraine to provide a decisive advantage to Ukraine
- Rallying call to step up capability coincides with Ukraine preparing to mark one year since the unforgivable full-scale Russian invasion, with the UK set to observe a minute’s silence at 11am today
The Prime Minister will call on international partners to help Ukraine degrade Russian forces beyond the front lines of the conflict in a G7 meeting today (Friday).
Lauding the strength and resolve of the international community in supporting Ukraine, as demonstrated by the G7, the Prime Minister will make the case for longer range weapons to be supplied to their armed forces.
He will tell world leaders that the sophisticated capability will help protect critical civilian infrastructure and preserve the front line defences. He is also expected to reiterate his offer of UK support to countries able to provide jets to Ukraine to help in the immediate conflict.
The capability step change underlines the Prime Minister’s push to help Ukraine seize a window of opportunity to push back Russian forces and help Ukraine defend and regain territory for the long term. The Prime Minister raised the possible provision of the longer range weapons with President Zelenksyy during his visit to the UK earlier this month.
The acceleration comes as Ukraine prepares to mark a year since Russia’s barbaric full scale invasion today [FRI]. The Prime Minister will join military personnel in Downing Street, as part of a national moment of reflection at 11am, to pay tribute to the bravery and courage of all the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia.
Alongside the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, the Prime Minister will host members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Downing Street, as well as representatives from the 10 nations supporting the Government’s Interflex training programme, including trainers from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland.
Joined by his wife, Akshata Murty, the Prime Minister will also hang a blue and yellow wreath on the No10 door.
Prime Minster Rishi Sunak said:
As we mark one year since a full scale war broke out on our continent, I urge everyone to reflect on the courage and bravery of our Ukrainian friends who, every hour since, have fought heroically for their country.
I am proud that the UK has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine through this horrific conflict. As I stand with brave Ukrainian soldiers outside Downing Street today, my thoughts will be with all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend freedom and return peace to Europe.
Later in the day, the Prime Minister will tell G7 allies in the virtual meeting that he has been humbled by Ukraine’s bravery and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s leadership, and is proud of the united response from international partners, including the G7.
He is expected to say:
For Ukraine to win this war – and to accelerate that day – they must gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield. That is what it will take to shift Putin’s mindset. This must be our priority now. Instead of an incremental approach, we need to move faster on artillery, armour, and air defence.
The coming weeks will be difficult for Ukraine, but they will also be difficult for Russia. They are over-reaching once again. So now is the time to support Ukraine’s plan to re-arm, regroup, and push forward.
His rallying call at the G7 will come as the Foreign Secretary speaks at the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York today to call on countries to step up their support for Ukraine to help the country secure a lasting peace on their terms.
He will set out how Russia’s continued targeting of Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, and key agricultural sites, has exacerbated global food prices and hurt the most vulnerable.