LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday announced a further troop deployment to European NATO states and an increase in aid to the embattled Ukrainian government facing its fourth week of the Russian war on Ukraine.
Speaking in Brussels following a meeting of G7 leaders, Johnson said the government would deploy British troops to Bulgaria and double its presence in Poland and Estonia, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s miscalculation in Ukraine had worked to unite the international community against “his barbaric invasion.”
“This is just the beginning. We must support a free and democratic Ukraine in the long term. This is a fellow European democracy fighting a war of national defense. NATO and G7 leaders were also united today in our determination to continue turning the screws on the Kremlin’s war machine, including by weaning ourselves off of Russian oil and gas,” the prime minister said.
“We will not stand by while Putin vents his fury on Ukraine. We stand with the people. As (Ukraine’s) President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy has said himself, the people of Ukraine will prevail. Putin must fail, and he will fail,” Johnson added.
The prime minister also spoke of the importance of finding alternative sources of energy as another means of strangling the Kremlin and bringing the government to its knees for “its illegal invasion of Ukraine.” Johnson also spoke of his government’s continued sanctions regime against Moscow.
On Thursday, the Foreign Office announced it would be sanctioning 65 more Russian entities and individuals, including banks, weapons manufacturing companies, and oligarchs. The government also announced an increase in humanitarian aid to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country.
As well as with humanitarian aid, Johnson announced the provision of new lethal aid to Kyiv but he did not specify what lethal aid this would entail and when it would be delivered. The UK has already given thousands of anti-tank NLAW and Javelin missiles to Kyiv which have been effective in slowing the Russian advance into the Ukrainian capital.
“The message that President Putin can take from today’s extraordinary meeting of NATO and the G7 is this: Ukraine is not alone. We stand with the people of Kyiv, of Mariupol, of Lviv, and of Donetsk.”
Responding to a question on the UK’s and Turkiye’s air defense support to Ukraine, Johnson said: “I think one of the most significant contributions that Turkey is currently making are the TB2s (unmanned aerial vehicles), which I think are very valuable.
“What the UK is providing, as I’m sure you’ve also seen, our air defenses and we’re helping the Ukrainians to understand how to use them. I think that’s entirely reasonable, but I don’t think I should really go beyond what I said.”