Britain will spend £3 billion a year helping defend Ukraine for ‘as long as it takes’ to defeat Russia, Starmer pledges

11 July 2024, 05:26 | Updated: 11 July 2024, 07:51

Starmer pledged aid to Ukraine for 'as long as it takes'
Starmer pledged aid to Ukraine for 'as long as it takes'. Picture: Alamy

By Natasha Clark

Britain will spend £3billion a year helping defend Ukraine for the next five years, Keir Starmer has promised.

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The Prime Minister insisted the UK would help the war torn country with help for as long as it was needed - as he announced a new £40million aid package.

As former PM Rishi Sunak promised earlier this year, Britain will continue to help repel Vladimir Putin’s forces until 2030 with a huge package of aid every year.

Despite refusing to say when the UK would hike defence spending to 2.5% of GDP, Sir Keir will say that the international community can’t waver in its commitment to Ukraine.

It comes after he met with President Zelenskyy for a formal sit-down meeting yesterday on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington.

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Follow the NATO summit on LBC
Follow the NATO summit on LBC. Picture: LBC

The pair first met at the D-Day commemorations during the election campaign - when Rishi Sunak left earlier.

Starmer told Zelenskyy that there has been “a change of government but no change in position”.

Defence Secretary John Healey and Foreign Secretary David Lammy joined him with officials around the table.

Starmer told him: “As you know from the get go .. there’s a change of government but no change of approach… I also want to say how awful that attack was … just shocking.”

Zelenskyy thanked Starmer for his words and for Britain’s support, adding: “Thank you again that you are with us from the very beginning of the war.”

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Washington, ahead of the Nato summit, Wednesday July 10, 2024. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Washington, ahead of the Nato summit, Wednesday July 10, 2024. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP). Picture: Alamy

Insiders fear that Russia may have targeted the sick attack on a children’s hospital in Kyiv last week ahead of the international summit.

The PM will tell NATO leaders today that Putin’s acts will only strengthen the West’s resolve to support Ukraine.

The UK will deliver more artillery and 90 Brimstone missiles in the coming weeks - as promised by Defence Secretary John Healey on his first visit to Ukraine last weekend.

Britain will cough up another £40million to NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine too.

And the UK will place a new £300million order for 120,000 rounds of ammunition to bolster their defences.

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Ukraine is hammering home their message for more support at the international summit, amid fears Donald Trump could dial down support if he wins back the keys to the White House later this year.

But Ukraine's bid to join the NATO alliance is unlikely while they are still at war with Russia.

The PM will speak at a special session on Ukraine tomorrow - saying the alliance must follow in the footsteps and stand up for the values the West holds.

The PM will say: “NATO was founded by the generation who defeated fascism. They understood not just the value of our strength, but the strength of our values.

“Those values are under attack once again. Putin needs to hear a clear message ringing out from this summit – a message of unity and determination, that we will support Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to uphold our shared values and our shared security.”

The UK has delivered almost £12.5 billion in military, humanitarian and economic support for Ukraine since Russia’s illegal and miscalculated full scale invasion in February 2022.

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