Zelensky Visits UK, Sunak Promises More Military Support

PM Sunak says the UK will help build a coalition to send Western-made fighter jets to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Britain Monday and secured pledges for more military equipment from London, including air defense missiles and long-range attack drones. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also expressed support for giving Ukraine Western-made fighter jets.

According to Sunak’s office, the attack drones have a range of over 200 kilometers (124 miles). Zelensky’s visit came after the British became the first NATO country to provide Kyiv with a longer-range cruise missile, known as the Storm Shadow, that can hit targets up to 155 miles away.

The UK’s pledge to send more arms to Kyiv drew an angry response from Moscow. “Britain aspires to be at the forefront among countries that continue to pump weapons into Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“We repeat once again, it cannot yield any drastic and fundamental influence on the way the special military operation [in Ukraine] is unfolding. But, definitely, it leads to further destruction, further action … It makes this whole story for Ukraine much more complicated,” Peskov added.

Zelensky inquired with the British about the possibility of Ukraine receiving Western-made fighter jets. Zelensky said after his meeting with Sunak, he was feeling “very positive” about creating a “jets coalition,” which he expects to happen “in the closest time.”

While Ukraine has yet to receive a promise of Western aircraft, the British are laying the groundwork for the eventuality. “This summer we will commence an elementary flying phase for cohorts of Ukrainian pilots to learn basic training,” Sunak’s office said. “This training goes hand in hand with UK efforts to work with other countries on providing F16 jets – Ukraine’s fighter jets of choice.”

Sunak said he would help rally other countries to send fighter jets. “Other countries are involved. I’m talking to those leaders, I’ll be doing more of that this week in my international engagements. We’re very keen to build that coalition of countries to give Volodymyr and his people the aircraft support they need,” he said.

Zelensky’s visit to Britain wrapped up a tour of Europe. “Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain… We are returning home with new defense packages. More new and powerful weapons for the frontline, more protection for our people from [Russian] terror, more political support,” he wrote on Twitter.

While in France, Zelensky met with President Emmanuel Macron and was promised more light tanks and armored vehicles. In Germany, Zelensky and Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed a massive $2.9 billion weapons package that Berlin has announced for Kyiv.

Source: AntiWar.

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