The Kremlin issued a chilling warning of ‘retaliatory actions’ today as Rishi Sunak pledged more support for Ukraine during talks with Volodymyr Zelensky at Chequers.
Moscow lashed out after the PM committed to supplying air defence missiles and drones, and vowed to push for more international aid when he attends the G7 gathering in Japan and Council of Europe in Reykjavik this week.
Mr Zelensky and Mr Sunak greeted each other with a hug after the president arrived at the PM’s country retreat in Chinook helicopters for his surprise visit this morning.
As the teams sat down in the historic Hawtrey Room, Mr Sunak pointed out that Winston Churchill had made many of his inspirational wartime speeches from that spot.
Last week it emerged the UK had become the first country to provide long-range precision missiles to Ukraine.
The Storm Shadow cruise missiles, accurate to beyond 150 miles, are expected to be at the heart of the much anticipated counter-offensive against Russian occupiers.
But the prospect of the UK supplying fighter jet has effectively disappeared, despite Mr Zelensky visiting in February and presenting Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle with a pilot’s helmet in a not-so-subtle hint of what he wanted from the UK.
Instead the RAF will help train Ukrainian forces to use Western jets, with No10 insisting Kyiv has ‘decided’ to focus on F-16s – which Britain does not use. Mr Sunak is expected to urge other countries to provide the airframes that Ukraine wants.
Mr Zelensky said his people are grateful ‘from our hearts’ for the support the UK had provided.
Read More: Kremlin issues chilling warning of ‘retaliatory actions’ to Britain as Rishi Sunak pledges more missiles and drones for Ukraine