Statement by the Prime Minister at the NATO press conference: 24 March 2022
It is hard to believe, in front of us today, that barely a month ago the Ukrainian people were leading an ordinary and peaceful life. Now they are locked in an extraordinary battle for survival against an unprovoked attack from their neighbors.
The Ukrainians took up the fight again and taught the world the meaning of bravery. Unexpectedly, they scolded the invading Russian army, inflicting defeat after defeat. Ukraine’s heroism has changed the geopolitics of Europe.
Vladimir Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, and I believe he knows it. But now that Putin’s Plan A has foundered, he is already stepping up by stepping up his attacks on civilians.
Maternities, schools and homes were bombed with no regard for civilian life. Families are starved in freezing basement shelters and targeted as they flee.
The UK – and our NATO and G7 allies here today – are clear: we will not sit idly by while Putin unleashes his fury on Ukraine.
Rarely have I seen our nations more united in recent years than we are now. Putin’s failure in Ukraine is vital to the peace and prosperity of us all, and his barbaric invasion has galvanized the international community into collective action.
We will work with like-minded allies to step up lethal aid to Ukraine on a large scale, providing President Zelenskyy with kits in the amount and with the quality and quantity he needs to defend his country against his bullying neighbor.
Today I announced that we in the UK will be sending an additional 6,000 missiles and providing £25 million of unrestricted funding to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, more than double the lethal aid we provided to this day.
We are stepping up our support for NATO nations on the front line, sending a new deployment of British troops to Bulgaria in addition to doubling our troops in Poland and Estonia.
This is just the beginning. We must support a free and democratic Ukraine for the long term. This is another European democracy waging a war of national defence.
NATO and G7 leaders were also united today in their resolve to continue to turn the screw on the Kremlin’s war machine, including weaning us off Russian oil and gas and reshaping global energy security.
The UK has already hit more than 1,000 Russian individuals and entities under our toughest sanctions, and the Foreign Secretary this morning announced 65 new sanctions against banks, arms manufacturers and oligarchs Russians.
I also discussed the humanitarian response with our allies and partners today, as we continue to see large numbers of Ukrainians fleeing their homes.
And the message that President Putin can take from today’s extraordinary meeting of NATO and the G7 is this: Ukraine is not alone.
We stand with the people of kyiv, Mairupol, Lviv and Donetsk. And as President Zelenskyy himself said, the Ukrainian people will prevail and Putin will have to fail and he will fail.