THE UK has pledged to give an extra £1bn in military aid to support the Ukrainian war effort, Boris Johnson said at the NATO Leader’s Summit yesterday.
The extra money will almost double the total sums Britain has given in military aid to Ukraine so far, in bringing the total amount to £2.3bn.
The UK’s extra £1bn in military support for Ukraine will mean the UK will have given more in military support to Ukraine than any other country apart from the US.
The military aid comes after Johnson set out plans to spend 2.5 per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) on defence by 2030, as he called on NATO allies to make similar pledges.
The UK currently spends around two per cent of its GDP on defence, in line with NATO targets. In calling on NATO members to up their spending, Johnson told world leaders at the summit in Madrid that long-term investment is needed to prepare for a “more dangerous and competitive world” in the future.
The extra funding for Ukraine comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky told NATO leaders that urgent support is needed to “break the Russian artillery advantage”.
Zelensky previously told world leaders at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Ukraine is spending £5.4bn a month on its war efforts.
Speaking via video link, Zelensky said: “Russia still receives billions every day and spends them on war. We have a multibillion-dollar deficit, we don’t have oil and gas to cover it.”
Speaking on the BBC today, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said if Putin is not “defeated” in Ukraine he could invade Moldova.
However, Truss said Britain will not give a “blank cheque” to Ukraine, as she said the government is instead seeking to help Ukraine fund its own war efforts, by aiding efforts to kickstart the country’s economy.
The majority of the extra £1bn aid is set to come from departmental underspends, with a further £95m from the Welsh and Scottish governments.
Truss also said UK businesses should be cautious about doing business with China, as she said Britain must ensure it does not become “economically dependent” on the People’s Republic.