UK sends weapons to Ukraine as fears of Russian war grow
Britain is supplying Ukraine with ‘self-defence’ weapons as the whole world holds its breath against a lurking Russian invasion.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said light anti-armor defense weapons systems would be supplied to Ukraine, with a “small number” of British personnel traveling to the country for training.
But he has ruled out sending troops if Vladimir Putin’s government goes to war with the neighboring country.
Britain’s announcement came after Mr Wallace warned that tens of thousands of Russian troops were stationed on Ukraine’s border and called for action to avoid a “very, very bloody war”.
He described these deployments as ‘infrequent’ and said they were equipped with tanks, armored fighting vehicles, rocket artillery and short-range ballistic missiles.
Mr Wallace told MPs there was ‘real cause for concern’ about the size of the force assembled by the Kremlin, with the support of Russia’s aviation and maritime forces.
Russia’s presence and readiness, he added, is contributing to an ‘atmosphere of instability and coercion that risks miscalculation at best as well as conflict at worst. ‘.
He invited his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, to visit London ‘in the next few weeks’ to discuss ‘issues of common security concern and engage in good faith’.
It comes amid growing alarm over the possibility of war, with many world leaders calling for calm but no solution in sight.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, making it more vulnerable to an invasion from Russia, which President Putin has previously claimed over parts of Ukraine.
The UK has been providing training in Ukraine as part of Operation Orbit.
However, Mr Wallace explained of the new support: ‘In light of increasingly threatening behavior from Russia and in addition to our current support, the UK is offering a new package of security assistance to increase its security. Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.
“We have decided to supply Ukraine with light anti-armor defense weapons systems.
‘A small number of UK staff will do short initial training, as part of Operation Orbital, before returning to the UK.
‘This security assistance package complements the training capabilities that Ukraine already has and capabilities that are also being offered by the UK and other allies in Europe and the United States.’
He added: ‘Ukraine has every right to defend its borders and this new aid package further strengthens its ability to do so.
‘Let me be clear: this support is for obvious and short-range defensive weapon capabilities; they are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia; They are used for self-defense. ‘
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Mr Wallace reiterated that there is an ‘international sanctions package ready to go’ if any ‘destabilizing action’ by Russia happens in Ukraine.
He noted that any invasion would be considered an ‘occupation’, adding: ‘I fear that it could lead to great loss of life for all parties.
‘The consequences that President Putin will have to face as a world leader and what could (possibly) be a very, very bloody war triggered by an invasion that is not lying in international law and also not really what anyone in this world wants.
‘Militarily, of course we will explore whatever we can in those areas, but as I said before, Ukraine is not a member of NATO and the British military will not be deployed. declared against the Russians.’
Despite growing fears of conflict, Mr Wallace continued: ‘I still hope that diplomacy will prevail. It is President Putin’s choice, whether to choose diplomacy and dialogue, or conflict and consequences. ‘
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/01/17/uk-sending-weapons-to-ukraine-as-fears-of-russian-war-grow-15935319/ UK sends weapons to Ukraine as fears of Russian war grow