UK: Military assistance to Ukraine might increase to £500 million

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – The UK has provided £200 million in military aid to Ukraine, according to the defence secretary, who also revealed that the UK will send a “small number” of Stormer missile launchers to Ukraine and will offer Poland Challenger 2 tanks.

Ben Wallace told MPs that Britain’s military gifts might reach £500 million, and that 15,000 Russian soldiers have died since the war began on February 24.

They had given £200 million in help to Ukraine, which they propose would expand to £500 million, Wallace said in the House of Commons. The Treasury would pay for replacement equipment on a “old for new” basis, according to the minister.

The goal of British military assistance should be to allow Ukraine choose where it wanted to settle for peace, Wallace said, but he added that Russia should be forced out of the nation entirely, back to its pre-2014 border.

He wanted Putin to go beyond what he did before February. He invaded Crimea and Donetsk unlawfully, and he should follow international law and leave Ukraine in the long run, Wallace added.

Britain is one of Europe’s top arms exporters to Ukraine, and it is depleting its stockpiles to keep Kyiv’s soldiers supplied. However, its supplies pale in comparison to those of the United States, which has provided $3.7 billion in military aid since Russia’s invasion.

Starstreak laser-guided anti-aircraft missiles are carried by Stormer armoured vehicles, which are designed to pose a roving threat to Russian helicopters and jets.

Wallace’s phrasing on the tanks implied a firming up of plans first floated by Boris Johnson on Friday, when he stated the UK was “looking at” supplying British Challenger 2s to Poland in exchange for Warsaw sending Ukraine more T-72s tanks, the Russian design deployed by its armed forces.

They were also offering a deployment of British Challenger tanks to Poland to bridge the gap between Poland giving tanks to Ukraine and replacement tanks arriving from a third country, Wallace said to MPs.

Poland is of expectation to receive the first of 250 Abrams tanks from the United States later this year, but is willing to send more of its T-72s to Ukraine if the United Kingdom and other western nations step forward now and offer reinforcements.

It was reported earlier this month that Poland could donate 100 T-72s to its neighbour, and there have been claims that some of the Soviet-designed tanks have already been discreetly delivered.

Wallace said the UK was considering supplying Brimstone ground-based missiles for defending Odesa against any seaborne attack, but he said the UK would not hand over its obsolete AS90 artillery to Kyiv.

According to Wallace, the UK has provided 5,361 NLAW anti-tank bazookas, over 200 US-made Javelin missiles, and 104 Starstreak high-velocity and other low-velocity anti-tank weapons since the beginning of the year.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.