'Every day Russia inflicts more pain': Rishi Sunak calls for world leaders to 'double down' on arming Ukraine

18 February 2023, 13:44 | Updated: 18 February 2023, 13:55

Rishi Sunak called on global leaders to double down on support for Ukraine
Rishi Sunak called on global leaders to double down on support for Ukraine. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Rishi Sunak has called on world leaders to "double down" on their military support for Ukraine, as he warned that every day brings "more pain and suffering" for the country's people.

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Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Mr Sunak said Ukraine needed military backing by allies to counter the expected spring onslaught by Russian president Vladimir Putin's troops.

But he also argued that Western countries must also start to put in place the foundations to strengthen Kyiv's long-term security.

Mr Sunak said UK tanks and the British government starting to train Ukrainian pilots to fly Nato-standard fighter jets was an example of how Britain was playing its part. Germany and the US have also recently given tanks to Ukraine to fight off the Russian invasion.

The PM told the summit: "Our collective efforts are making a difference but with every day that passes, Russian forces inflict yet more pain and suffering.

Rish Sunak at the Munich Security Conference
Rish Sunak at the Munich Security Conference. Picture: Getty

"Now the only way to change that is for Ukraine to win." He added: "We need to do more to boost Ukraine's long-term security.

"We must give them the advanced, Nato-standard capabilities that they need for the future.

"And we must demonstrate that we'll remain by their side, willing and able to help them defend their country again and again."

Mr Sunak also said securing a lasting peace would mean "upholding international law" and making Moscow pay reparations to Kyiv.

Others to speak at the summit on Saturday included US vice-president Kamala Harris and Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

Ukraine Defence adviser: 'We will win' 

Before his speech, Mr Sunak held bilateral talks with German chancellor Olaf Scholz and will later speak with Ms Harris, along with the leaders of Poland, Sweden and Finland.

According to No 10, the Prime Minister "stressed the need for allies to think not just about securing peace in the short term, but about strengthening Ukraine's long-term defences" during his conversation with Mr Scholz.

Next Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Putin's invasion.

Mr Sunak's comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that the UK must keep supporting Ukraine.

Ukrainian servicemen in the war with Russia
Ukrainian servicemen in the war with Russia. Picture: Getty

Shelagh told Sir Keir: "There are people who either don't want to or really genuinely don't understand why this is our fight. Tell them why it's our fight in your view."

He: "Oh I can do that very easily - let me first try and do that as a human being."The Leader of the Opposition talked about meeting people who had lost their friends and neighbours in the war.

READ MORE: 'Wings for freedom': Zelenskyy thanks Britain for support as he asks for fighter jets in historic Parliamentary address

"You can in those circumstances absolutely understand why people fled the country seeing what was happening in their neighbourhoods," he said.

"Anybody who has any doubt about this just needs to reflect for a moment on that," Sir Keir added.

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