The West must give Ukrainian armed forces “advanced, Nato-standard capabilities”, including longer-range weapons, the Prime Minister has said at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
Rishi Sunak reiterated the UK’s resolve in supporting Ukraine, saying that the UK became the first country to provide Ukraine with tanks, as well as being the first to offer training to Ukrainian pilots and marines.
The Prime Minister said: “Together we must help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones, that’s why the United Kingdom will be the first country to give Ukraine longer-range weapons.”
The move comes after Ukraine said it would use British long-range missiles – if they were supplied by the UK – to hit Russian forces inside Crimea.
According to defence experts, British missiles such as Storm Shadow would provide the Ukrainian forces with the ability to hit Russian targets that are currently out of reach.
To repel Russian aggression Rishi Sunak said that western leaders must band together and “double down” on military support for the war-torn country.
The Prime Minister stated that the only way to stop the pain and suffering inflicted by Russian forces is “for Ukraine to win”.
“To win the war, Ukraine needs more artillery, armoured vehicles and air defence,” Sunak said.
The UK will also be extending its training mission – which has already seen 10,000 Ukrainian troops come to the UK – to cover fighter jet pilots, ensuring Ukraine can defend its skies using “Nato tactics” in the future.
The training of pilots is expected to commence in the spring, according to Downing Street officials.
The Prime Minister’s visit to Germany comes as some in Ukraine suggest a spring-time offensive by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s forces has already begun along parts of the eastern frontline.