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Russia Ukraine war: Rishi Sunak meets Zelenskyy, pledges £50 million aid to Kyiv

Russia- Ukraine war: Sunak further asserted that the air defence package will protect Ukraine against Russian strikes and help to counter 'Iranian-supplied drones.'

Hritika Mitra Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Kyiv Published on: November 20, 2022 11:27 IST
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, shakes
Image Source : AP Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine war: Newly elected United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunka on Sunday announced an air defence package worth £50 million to war-torn Ukraine. Sunak who is on his maiden trip to Ukraine after becoming Prime Minister informed the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the defence package will include 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology. 

Sunak further asserted that the air defence package will protect Ukraine against Russian strikes and help to counter 'Iranian-supplied drones.' A statement released by UK Prime Minister's Office said, "Meeting President Zelenskyy, he confirmed that the UK will provide a major new package of air defence to help protect Ukrainian civilians and critical national infrastructure from an intense barrage of Russian strikes." 

It further added, "The £50 million package of defence aid comprises 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones, including dozens of radars and anti-drone electronic warfare capability." In the statement, PM's office noted that the announcement follows more than 1,000 new anti-air missiles announced by the UK's Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, earlier this month.

Calling it 'deeply humbling' to be in Kyiv, Sunak pledged that Britain will continue to support Ukrainians in their fight. Rishi Sunak laid flowers at a memorial for the war dead and lit a candle at a memorial for victims of the Holodomor famine before meeting first responders at a fire station. During his visit to Kyiv, Rishi Sunak said, "I am proud of how the UK stood with Ukraine from the very beginning. And I am here today to say the UK and our allies will continue to stand with Ukraine, as it fights to end this barbarous war and deliver a just peace."

He further added, "While Ukraine's armed forces succeed in pushing back Russian forces on the ground, civilians are being brutally bombarded from the air. We are today providing new air defence, including anti-aircraft guns, radar and anti-drone equipment, and stepping up humanitarian support for the cold, hard winter ahead."

During the visit, Sunak also announced £12 million for the World Food Programme's response to Ukraine and £4 million for the International Organisation for Migration. The UK PM's office in the statement stated that the funding will help Ukraine with generators, mobile health clinics and shelters.

Furthermore, Britain will be sending tens of thousands of cold winter kits for Ukrainian troops. Notably, the UK has been providing military and humanitarian assistance to Kyiv since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Britain has been imposing sanctions against Moscow since Russia began its offensive in Ukraine on February 24.

(With inputs from ANI)

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