London, Jan 12 (EFE).- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday made a surprise visit to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and announced a new military aid package of £2.5 billion ($3.19 billion), the British government said.
The aid package, to be provided over the fiscal year 2024/25, marks the UK’s largest financial commitment to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the British PM’s Press office said in a statement.
The funding will be spent to ensure Ukraine’s “victory on the battlefield,” focusing on critical areas such as long-range missiles, air defense, artillery ammunition and maritime security.
Of the £2.5 billion, at least £200 million is to be dedicated towards procuring and manufacturing thousands of military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Ukraine, including surveillance, long-range strike and sea drones, the statement added.
“For two years, Ukraine has fought with great courage to repel a brutal Russian invasion. They are still fighting, unfaltering in their determination to defend their country and defend the principles of freedom and democracy,” Sunak said.
“I am here today with one message: the UK will also not falter. We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come,” the conservative leader added.
During the visit, Sunak and President Zelenskyy are set to sign a “historic” security agreement, offering Ukraine long-term assurances, the statement explained.
“The UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation formalizes 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 defense industrial cooperation,” it added.
In recent months, Zelenskyy has appealed to Western allies for increased support in defending Ukraine against Russian attacks, especially at a time when other conflicts, like Gaza, have diverted global attention from the Ukrainian crisis.
With the latest military funding, the UK has now contributed nearly £12 billion in support to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began almost two years ago. EFE