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On his maiden trip to Kiev, Rishi Sunak unveils an air defence plan for Ukraine

During his visit that the UK will give Ukraine an air defence package, including 125 anti-aircraft guns and technologies

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has announced a £50 million air defence programme for Ukraine. On his first visit to Kyiv after becoming prime minister on November 19, he made the declaration.

Sunak informed Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, during his visit that the UK will give Ukraine an air defence package, including 125 anti-aircraft guns and technologies. He emphasised that the air defence system will shield Ukraine from Russian attacks and aid in thwarting “Iranian-supplied drones.”

“Meeting President Zelenskyy, he confirmed that the UK will provide a major new package of air defence to help protect Ukrainian civilians and critical national infrastructure from an intense barrage of Russian strikes,” according to the statement released by UK Prime Minister’s Office.

It further added, “The £50 million package of defence aid comprises 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones, including dozens of radars and anti-drone electronic warfare capability.” In the statement, PM’s office noted that the announcement follows more than 1,000 new anti-air missiles announced by the UK’s Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, earlier this month.

Sunak remarked that being in Kyiv was “very humbling” and that Britain would continue to assist Ukrainians in their struggle. Before meeting first responders at a fire station, Rishi Sunak paid tribute to the fallen at a war memorial and lighted a candle at a memorial for those who perished in the Holodomor famine.

During his visit to Kyiv, Rishi Sunak said, “I am proud of how the UK stood with Ukraine from the very beginning. And I am here today to say the UK and our allies will continue to stand with Ukraine, as it fights to end this barbarous war and deliver a just peace.”

He further added, “While Ukraine’s armed forces succeed in pushing back Russian forces on the ground, civilians are being brutally bombarded from the air. We are today providing new air defence, including anti-aircraft guns, radar and anti-drone equipment, and stepping up humanitarian support for the cold, hard winter ahead.”

Sunak also disclosed during the visit that the World Food Programme will get £12 million for its response to the Ukraine and the International Organization for Migration would receive £4 million. According to a statement from the UK PM’s office, the funds would assist Ukraine with generators, mobile medical clinics, and shelters.

In addition, Britain will deliver tens of thousands of cold weather survival equipment for Ukrainian soldiers. Notably, since Russia invaded Ukraine, the UK has been offering military and humanitarian support to Kyiv. Ever since Russia’s offensive in Ukraine got under way on February 24, Britain has been enforcing sanctions against Moscow.

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