Britain to hike funds for Ukraine to buy drones, Sunak visits Kyiv

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travels to Kyiv on Friday to announce the increase

Published : 12 Jan 2024, 09:03 AM
Updated : 12 Jan 2024, 09:03 AM

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travelled to Kyiv on Friday to announce an increase in military funding to help Ukraine purchase new military drones, including surveillance, long-range strike and sea drones.

London has been one of Kyiv's staunchest supporters since Russia's invasion and Sunak said Britain would increase its support in the next financial year to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.19 billion), an increase of 200 million pounds on the previous two years.

Britain said it would provide the largest delivery of drones to Ukraine from any nation, with most of them expected to be manufactured in Britain.

"The Ministry of Defence will work with international partners to significantly scale up the number of drones provided for Ukraine's defence," the government statement said.

Sunak's office said the two countries would also sign a historic UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation, following on from an agreement by the Group of Seven nations to provide Ukraine with bilateral security assurances.

Britain said the agreement "formalises a range of support the UK has been and will continue to provide for Ukraine's security, including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defence industrial cooperation".

Sunak said Ukraine had been fighting for the principles of freedom and democracy for two years.

"I am here today with one message: the UK will also not falter," Sunak said in a statement. "We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come."