UK adds artillery rounds, helicopters to military aid to Ukraine
London, Nov 23 (PTI) An additional 10,000 artillery rounds will be provided by the UK to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced on Wednesday on a visit to Norway.
The UK government said the additional rounds will enhance Ukraine's defensive capability and come as the first delivery of Sea King helicopters arrives in Ukraine to provide key search and rescue capabilities. It follows Britain's Royal Navy providing a six-week programme of Sea King training in the UK for 10 crews of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and associated engineers.
"Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia in recent weeks,” said Wallace.
The additional military aid comes after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv at the weekend, where he announced a GBP 50 million package of defence aid. That package included 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones, including dozens of radars and anti-drone electronic warfare capability.
Wallace is visiting Norway for a meeting of the Northern Group of defence ministers onboard the UK’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the meeting is expected to cover the implications of “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine”, security developments in Northern Europe, and Sweden and Finland’s North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) membership applications.
The Northern Group is a UK initiative, which aims to promote more coherent, efficient and effective defence and security co-operation in northern Europe. It comprises 12 nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK.
The MoD said it is also supplying winter kit to Ukraine’s troops as they continue to battle to liberate their country from Russian forces as winter rapidly approaches – when temperatures are known to sink to minus 20 degrees Celsius and below in parts of the country. PTI AK ZH ZH