The UK will commit £300m of military aid to Ukraine, Downing Street has announced, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, prepares to become the first western leader to address the country’s parliament since Russia’s invasion.
Johnson will make a speech to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) on Tuesday, May 3 via video link, Downing street said.
He reportedly will say that Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s aggression has been the country’s “finest hour”, echoing language used by Winston Churchill during the Blitz in 1940.
Johnson will on Tuesday announce a £300mn package of “defensive military aid” for Ukraine including electronic warfare equipment, a counter-battery radar system, GPS jamming kit and thousands of night vision devices, according to Downing Street.
The UK’s latest announcement of military support to Ukraine comes amid fresh evidence of tensions in Johnson’s cabinet over levels of British defence spending.
UK’s Defence secretary, Ben Wallace told the House of Commons last week that the government had given £200mn of equipment.
This comes after Joe Biden said last week that he would seek lawmakers’ approval for a $33bn package of assistance for Ukraine, including more than $20bn of military aid.
Johnson will talk about the reopening of the British embassy in Kyiv and say the UK is “proud to be among Ukraine’s friends” when he addresses the country’s parliamentarians.
“This is Ukraine’s finest hour, an epic chapter in your national story that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come,” Johnson will say.