Rishi Sunak Distances Himself from Defence Secretary’s Ukraine Comments

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Rishi Sunak (Parliament Politic Magazine) – The Prime Minister has dismissed the remarks made by the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace. It is regarding Ukraine’s obligation to display appreciation for the military assistance it has received. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, emphasized that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has consistently conveyed his gratitude for the substantial aid.

As it has been provided by the United Kingdom since the commencement of Russia’s invasion over 500 days ago. During the Nato summit in Vilnius, Mr. Wallace shared his thoughts with reporters, emphasizing the importance of Mr. Zelensky. He has to be cautious in maintaining the support of skeptical politicians in the United States. This is especially crucial considering the upcoming presidential election next year.

Mr Zelensky Expressed His Confusion Regarding Mr. Wallace’s Statement

The former Scots Guard voiced his apprehensions regarding certain allies who extend defensive aid to Kyiv, insinuating that they anticipate reciprocated gratitude. However, Mr. Sunak, in a staunch response to his Cabinet counterpart, underscored the profound appreciation of the Ukrainian people for the support they have been offered.

Mr. Zelensky expressed his confusion regarding Mr. Wallace’s statement, stating that his country has always been grateful to Britain. It is worth noting that numerous Western allies, such as President Joe Biden’s administration in Washington and the UK Government, have consistently shown their support for Ukraine.

The United Kingdom, in particular, has been leading Western states in providing weapons and defensive equipment to the war-torn country. Addressing the media during a press briefing following the two-day summit held in the Lithuanian capital, Mr. Sunak stated:

“President Zelensky has expressed his gratitude for what we have done on several occasions, not least in his incredibly moving address that he made to Parliament earlier this year and he has done so again to me, as he has done countless times when I have met him.

“So I know that he and his people are incredibly grateful for the support we have shown, the welcome that we have provided to many Ukrainian families, but also the leadership we have shown throughout this conflict.”

Mr. Sunak Emphasized on Support For Ukraine People

Mr. Sunak emphasized that the Ukrainian people were enduring a devastating toll during the invasion, and he empathized with Mr. Zelensky’s determination to safeguard his citizens.

During a subsequent press conference, Mr. Zelensky, speaking through a translator, expressed his gratitude towards the United Kingdom, stating, “We have always been appreciative of the support from the United Kingdom.”

“I don’t know what he (Mr. Wallace) meant and how else we should be grateful. “Maybe the minister wants something special, but I think that we have some wonderful relations.”

Sources close to the Defence Secretary have revealed that Mr. Wallace was emphasizing the importance of Ukraine engaging with public opinion and parliaments in the international community, to garner support. This statement follows a public disagreement between Mr. Zelensky and Nato, where the Ukrainian President expressed his frustration over the alliance’s failure to provide a specific timeline for Kyiv’s membership in the defensive alliance.

On Tuesday, the war leader vehemently criticized Nato’s stance, deeming it “absurd” that the organization continues to demand military and democratic prerequisites for the eastern European country’s accession, even after the resolution of the conflict with Moscow.

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The Deal Signifies More Support For Ukraine

He appeared to have moderated his language after a comprehensive series of meetings on Wednesday, including discussions with Mr. Sunak and Mr. Biden. In a press conference alongside Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Mr. Zelensky expressed that Nato had conveyed significant signals regarding Ukraine’s potential membership as a state.

He was further encouraged by the endorsement of a joint declaration by G7 leaders, pledging enduring multilateral and bilateral security assurances for Kyiv to assist in repelling ongoing and potential aggression from Russia. After the pact was signed, Mr. Zelensky expressed his satisfaction, stating that he was departing the summit with a “remarkable security triumph for Ukraine.”

Mr.Sunak enthusiastically declared that this deal signifies an unprecedented pinnacle of international support for Ukraine, as Britain pledges to impart invaluable training to Ukrainian pilots. Moreover, the Defence Secretary floated the idea of stationing British troops in Ukraine post-war, with the explicit aim of conducting rigorous battlefield training exercises in collaboration with Ukrainian forces.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.