Ukraine's Foreign Minister denies Lord Cameron's claim that RAF can't shoot down Russian drones: ‘It's simply invalid’

17 April 2024, 08:07 | Updated: 17 April 2024, 09:23

Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba responds to David Cameron's drone comments
Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba responds to David Cameron's drone comments. Picture: LBC

By Emma Soteriou

The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister has shut down David Cameron's claims that using RAF jets to shoot down Russian drones over Ukraine would lead to a 'dangerous escalation' in the conflict.

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Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Dmytro Kuleba said Lord Cameron is "a very good friend of Ukraine" but there had been "uncomfortable conversations" at their last meeting in Brussels.

It comes after Lord Cameron told Nick that putting Nato forces in direct conflict with Russian troops would cause a worrying escalation in the conflict - despite the green light being given for RAF fighter jets to shoot down Iranian drone over Israel.

"The argument I have been hearing for months in that you cannot intercept Russian missiles because it will mean dragging Nato into a war with Russia," Mr Kuleba said.

"Since when does intercepting Russian missiles mean dragging someone into war with Russia?

"To the best of my knowledge, Russian missiles do not carry Russian troops."

Mr Kuleba said he was looking forward to upcoming meetings with Lord Cameron this week to address why there had been a different approach with Iran.

Read more: Nick Ferrari puts David Cameron on the spot: 'Why can't the RAF shoot down drones over Ukraine like they do Israel?'

Read more: RAF jets shot down ‘a number’ of Iranian drones attacking Israel, Rishi Sunak says

Nick Ferrari speaks to Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister

When challenged further on the issue earlier in the week, Lord Cameron told LBC: "We've done more than any other country individually to help the Ukrainians. We've trained over 60,000 Ukrainian troops, we were the first to give them anti-tank weapons, long-range artillery and tanks."

He continued: "I think the difficulty with what you suggest is if you want to avoid an escalation in terms of a wider European war, I think the one thing you do need to avoid is Nato troops directly engaging Russian troops. That would be a danger of escalation."

Hitting back at his comments, Mr Kuleba said: "Lord Cameron is absolutely correct in emphasising the systemic and large-scale programme of support that Britain has for Ukraine and we are deeply grateful for that.

"But his argument of escalation that I hear from many capitals - not only from London - is simply invalid."

He added: "I will have a honest conversation with David about that."

Nick Ferrari presses David Cameron 'why aren't the RAF shooting down drones over Ukraine?'

Since the full-scale invasion began in February 2022, Russia has captured nearly a quarter of Ukraine, which is outnumbered, outgunned and in desperate need of more troops and ammunition.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently signed a controversial law in a bid to boost conscription to replenish his forces.

The mobilisation law, published on Ukraine's parliamentary website, is expected to take effect in a month and make it easier to identify every draft-eligible man in the country.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Picture: Getty

Mr Kuleba said Russian drone and missile attacks are taking place every day and it is getting more difficult to intercept them.

He warned: "If you don't spend the £1 today on Israel, and the £1 today on Ukraine, you will be spending £10 per day tomorrow.

"It's very simple, whatever the price of supporting Ukraine today is, fixing the problems that will be born out of Russia's success in Ukraine will be by far more expensive."