UK urges allies to ‘stay with us in the fight’ to help Ukraine

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

LONDON: Britain has urged its allies to “stay with us in the fight” in Ukraine, amid warnings the “forces of fascism” are beginning to gain control.

Defence minister James Cartlidge highlighted the UK’s contribution to Ukraine since 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea, which includes training more than 60,000 recruits and committing almost £12 billion in economic and humanitarian military aid since the full-scale invasion in 2022.

But he acknowledged “we need to do more” as he and other MPs pressed allies to step up their efforts.A recent UK pledge included investing £245 million in producing artillery shells for Ukraine, although Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has been struggling to convince Republicans in Washington to facilitate a major United States funding package for Kyiv.

Conservative MP Bob Seely (Isle of Wight), asking an urgent question, told the Commons: “The equipment pledged by Nato nations is not reaching Ukraine in anything like the amounts promised.”

He added he believes less than a third of the one million shells promised by EU nations have arrived in Ukraine and warned about a lack of trained F-16 pilots, adding: “The Ukrainians are perilously short of air defence.

“This is at a time when the Russians are on a war footing – 40% of all government spending is geared towards the destruction of the Ukrainian state.”Mr Seely questioned if defence intelligence, and the UK Government, believe that Ukraine will be able to hold their current positions and, if so, for how long.He also warned Ukrainian soldiers are dying because “they lack kit”.