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UK pledges further £1.3bn military package to Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walk along a street after a meeting in Kiev on April 9. (Photo by AFP)

Britain has announced an extra £1.3 billion in military support to Ukraine, ahead of a virtual meeting of Group of Seven (G7) leaders with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The package, which marks the United Kingdom's highest rate of military spending since the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, was revealed on Sunday.

The funding will include £300 million in military equipment already agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"Putin's brutal attack is not only causing untold devastation in Ukraine – it is also threatening peace and security across Europe," Johnson said in a statement.

"We will stand by that endeavor, working with our allies to ensure Ukraine can continue to push back the Russian invasion and survive as a free and democratic country," Johnson added.

The prime minister said that his country was "the first country to recognize the scale of the threat and send arms to help the Ukrainians defend themselves."

The package includes anti-battery radar systems to target Russian artillery, GPS jamming equipment and night-vision devices.

The funding will come from the country's reserve used by the government for emergencies.

The UK's came after US President Joe Biden promised further military help for Ukraine on Friday.

Washington's next tranche of military equipment will include artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars and electronic jamming equipment.

The ongoing military aid to Ukraine come despite Russia's constant warning about the risks of a nuclear conflict in the region if NATO continues pumping weapons into Ukraine.

To Russian President Vladimir Putin, such military shipments are part of a broader plan by Washington and its allies to destroy Russia.

His office has previously said that the West is preventing a “quick” end to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine by providing Kiev with weapons.

Putin declared a military campaign in Ukraine on February 24.


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