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UK not an Amazon delivery service for weapons to Ukraine, Kyiv must show gratitude: Britain's Defence Secy

In a blunt intervention, Wallace argued that Ukraine should keep in mind that the UK is not an online shopping platform-- "Amazon" for weapons and added Kyiv might be wise to let its supporters "see gratitude".

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: July 12, 2023 23:29 IST
NATO Summit
Image Source : AP/@ZELENSKYYUA/TWITTER NATO Summit

Amid the ongoing NATO Summit in Lithuania's national capital Vilnius, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has made contentious remarks against war-torn Ukraine for continuously demanding weapons from Britain without showing "gratitude" for what it has received since the escalation of the tragic war. In a blunt intervention, Wallace argued that Ukraine should keep in mind that the UK is not an online shopping platform-- "Amazon" for weapons and added Kyiv might be wise to let its supporters "see gratitude".

“Whether we like it or not, people want to see gratitude,” Wallace told reporters at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, noting that Ukraine was persuading other countries to give up their own stocks of weapons.

In comments cited by multiple British media outlets, including The Times of London, The Guardian and the Independent, Wallace said he had heard “grumbles” from lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington that “we’re not Amazon.” “I mean, that’s true,” he was quoted as saying. “I told them that last June: I said to the Ukrainians when I drove 11 hours to be given a list: ‘I’m not Amazon.’”

Sunak downplays Wallace's remarks

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman, Max Blain, downplayed the remarks. “I think you have heard from President Zelenskyy repeatedly, and indeed today, about his gratitude to the people of the United Kingdom for their support and their generosity,” he said, adding that “the UK government and the UK people will be steadfast in support” of Ukraine.

Speaking at a news conference in Vilnius, Sunak said Ukrainians are “fighting for their lives and freedom. So I completely understand Volodymyr’s desire to do everything he can to protect his people and to stop this war.”

He said the NATO summit had seen allies “doubling down in their support” for Kyiv and had taken a “big step” toward admitting Ukraine to the alliance. “The summit communique echoes the U.K.’s long-held position that Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” he said.

 Zelenskyy furious ahead of NATO Summit

Earlier on Tuesday, Zelenskyy, in a fiery statement, hit out at the US-led military alliance and called it "absurd" that a timeframe is not being set for the war-torn nation to be invited to join the union.  "We value our allies. We value our shared security. And we always appreciate an open conversation. Ukraine will be represented at the NATO summit in Vilnius. Because it is about respect. But Ukraine also deserves respect. Now, on the way to Vilnius, we received signals that certain wording is being discussed without Ukraine," President Zelenskyy wrote in a strongly-worded statement on Twitter.

"It’s unprecedented and absurd when the timeframe is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine's membership," he added.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Biden did it again! US President calls his ‎Ukrainian counterpart Zelenskyy 'Vladimir' at NATO Summit I VIDEO

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