Allies pledge to send more arms to Ukraine as Russia launches new offensive



Ukraine’s allies have pledged to supply the country with more weapons as it defends against a new Russian offensive in the east.

Leaders of the US, UK, Germany and other nations discussed coordinated support for Ukraine in a video call on Tuesday.

Joe Biden is expected to announce in the coming days another military aid package for Ukraine about the same size as the $800m (£600m) one announced last week, multiple sources familiar with the matter said.

If the aid package is as large as expected, it would bring total US military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February to well over $3bn.

Asked by reporters during a visit to New Hampshire if the United States would be sending more artillery to Ukraine, Mr Biden replied “yes”.

In London, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons: “This will become an artillery conflict, they need support with more artillery, that is what we will be giving them… in addition to many other forms of support.”

In Berlin, chancellor Olaf Scholz said his government was planning to finance Ukraine’s purchase of anti-tank and air defense weapons from German producers.

A Ukrainian serviceman stand next to an American-made Javelin anti-tank missile in Donetsk

(Reuters)

He also said the West is coordinating more weapons deliveries to Ukraine and agreed that it made sense to send arms that could be immediately deployed.

To this end, they would enable eastern European countries to hand over Soviet weapons Ukrainian forces are familiar with by committing to replacing them, he said.

Justin Trudeau said Canada would be sending heavy artillery and promised to provide more details.

Others on the call included European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, French president Emmanuel Macron, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of Italy, Japan and Poland.

A French presidential adviser said the allies discussed how to provide security guarantees to Ukraine after the war if it is not part of Nato and its defense pact known as Article 5.

UK has sent Starstreak anti-air missile systems, among other weapons

(PA)

These guarantees would look more like the defense clause the European Union currently has among its members, the French official said, rather than Article 5, which triggers automatic military support if a member is attacked.

Allies also discussed the need to persuade non-EU, non-G7 countries to treat the war in Ukraine as an issue that concerns world peace and not just Europe or the West, the French official said.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, a Nato military chief said each nation “makes their own choice” when it comes to what types of weapons to send Ukraine.

Asked whether more countries will be sending anti-aircraft vehicles to Ukraine – as the UK is doing – Lieutenant General Lance Landrum, deputy chair of the military committee at Nato headquarters in Brussels, said: “I think each nation makes their own choice. Each nation is sending aid to Ukraine in a bilateral relationship with Ukraine.

“And the different types of equipment that they send are based on the national sovereign rights in the negotiations that they have with the Ukrainian government.”

Allies have supplied tonnes upon tonnes of military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded on 24 February. Nato members have refused to commit troops to the war as they want to avoid a direct confrontation with Russia.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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