Britain to increase Ukraine funding to £2.5bn, Rishi Sunak announces, as PM visits Kyiv

12 January 2024, 07:09 | Updated: 12 January 2024, 11:13

Sunak in Kyiv today
Sunak in Kyiv today. Picture: Alamy/Downing St
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Britain will increase its funding for Ukraine to £2.5bn, Downing Street has announced, with Rishi Sunak set to meet Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv later today.

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During his visit to Kyiv, Mr Sunak will announce a "major new package of military aid, security assurances and humanitarian support".

The prime minister and Mr Zelenskyy are also expected to sign a UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation.

Zelenskyy has been calling for more support from the West
Zelenskyy has been calling for more support from the West. Picture: Getty

Mr Sunak's visit comes as the Ukrainian president presses allies in the West to provide the country with more support to fight back against Russian forces.

The crisis in the Middle East, including in Gaza and the Red Sea, has also turned global attention away from the battle against Vladimir Putin.

Read More: US and allies accuse Russia of using North Korean missiles against Ukraine

Read More: Ukraine’s Zelensky seeking air defence help on visit to Baltic nations

“For two years, Ukraine has fought with great courage to repel a brutal Russian invasion. They are still fighting, unfaltering in their determination to defend their country and defend the principles of freedom and democracy," Mr Sunak said.

“I am here today with one message: the UK will also not falter. We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come."

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak. Picture: Getty

He went on: “The UK is already one of Ukraine’s closest partners, because we recognise their security is our security. Today we are going further - increasing our military aid, delivering thousands of cutting-edge drones, and signing a historic new Security Agreement to provide Ukraine with the assurances it needs for the long term.”

Mr Sunak made his first visit to Ukraine in November 2022, weeks after he entered Number 10.

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