UK pledges $3 billion and drones to Ukraine in unprecedented pact

In a significant diplomatic development, the United Kingdom has announced a comprehensive commitment of over $3 billion and the supply of thousands of drones to aid Ukraine in its war against Russia.

The United Kingdom has pledged substantial support to Ukraine, announcing a commitment of over $3 billion and the provision of thousands of drones for defense against Russia. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made this announcement during his visit to Kyiv alongside Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, emphasizing the significance of an “unprecedented security agreement.”

During the visit, Sunak assured increased military aid to Ukraine, stating, “We are one of Ukraine’s main supporters, particularly when it comes to military aid.” The British military aid for the fiscal year 2024/2025 will amount to £2.5 billion ($3.19 billion), surpassing the previous two years by £200 million ($255 million). This financial support will be allocated to various defense capabilities, including long-range missiles, air defense, artillery ammunition, and maritime security.

A notable aspect of this aid is the commitment of at least £200 million to rapidly supply and produce thousands of military drones, encompassing surveillance, long-range attack, and maritime drones. Downing Street highlighted that this initiative represents “the largest delivery of drones to Ukraine, of any country,” with a significant portion of these devices to be manufactured in the United Kingdom.

This substantial support reflects the gravity of the situation for Ukraine and the UK’s unwavering determination to assist in the war. Over the years, London has contributed nearly £12 billion ($17.8 billion) in aid to Ukraine.

President Zelensky expressed gratitude for the assistance, referring to the signed document as an “unprecedented security agreement.” He underscored the historic nature of the agreement on his social media account, stating, “Today we are witnessing a milestone in European history.” Zelensky emphasized that the common goal of Ukraine and the United Kingdom is to prevent any future attacks once the current Russian aggression subsides. Recently, he also secured aid from Lithuania and Estonia.

The details of the security agreement were not disclosed by Zelensky, but he stressed that it goes beyond a mere declaration. He reflected on historical missed opportunities, stating that if similar guarantees had been offered in 1991, Russian aggression might have been averted.

The UK government, in a pre-issued statement, outlined the commitments made through the agreement, affirming the UK’s commitment to maintaining consultations with Ukraine in the event of a renewed Russian attack and providing rapid and sustained assistance for its defense.

With this agreement, the United Kingdom becomes the first G7 country to fulfill the security guarantees pledged by the group of the world’s seven most industrialized democracies to Ukraine last year.

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