Ukraine will join Nato says Rishi Sunak in warning to Russia

Ukraine: Rishi Sunak pledges to accelerate military aide

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Ukraine “must win” its battle against Russia’s brutal invasion, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declared. In an appeal to world leaders, he urged: “Now is the moment to ­double down on our military support.”

In a hard-hitting speech at the Munich Security Conference, Mr Sunak pledged to help Ukraine build a modern air force and ­predicted the country would one day join Nato – an outcome Russian leader Vladimir Putin has vowed to prevent.

The world leaders gathered in Munich yesterday included US Vice President Kamala Harris, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Sunak said: “With every day that passes, Russian forces inflict yet more pain and suffering. Now the only way to change that is for Ukraine to win.”

He added: “To win the war, Ukraine needs more artillery, armoured vehicles and air defence. So now is the moment to double down on our military support.”

Putin hoped that his opponents would “lose our nerve”, said Mr Sunak, but he insisted: “We will prove him wrong.”

The Prime Minister said the UK was helping to build up the Ukrainian air force by training pilots to use advanced fighter jets.

Britain also “stands ready to help any country provide planes that Ukraine can use today”, Mr Sunak pledged.

He promised to “hold Russia to account” for war crimes through the International Criminal Court and said Putin’s regime should be forced to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

But he said that the West had failed to stand up to Putin in the past. Mr Sunak said: “From human rights to reckless nuclear threats, from Georgia to Moldova, Russia has committed violation after violation against countries outside the collective security of Nato. And the international ­community’s response has not been strong enough.”

The Prime Minister met a Ukrainian soldier who presented him with a bracelet made of ­bullets used in the successful defence of Kyiv in the early stages of the Russian invasion.

He was seen wearing it later, as he met Vice President Harris.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister and Vice President Harris discussed how to accelerate international action on Ukraine, to allow them to win the war and secure a just and lasting peace.

“They agreed that Putin’s war in Ukraine is a global war, both in terms of its impact on food and energy security and in terms of its implications for internationally accepted norms like sovereignty.

“The Prime Minister and Vice President Harris condemned those countries who have supported Putin’s efforts politically and militarily.”

It came as an exclusive poll for the Sunday Express found the British public back Mr Sunak’s tough stance, with 49 percent saying they want the UK to give Ukraine fighter jets while just 19 percent were opposed.

It follows Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s plea for the UK and its allies to provide “wings for freedom”.

There is also support for harsher measures to punish Russia for its aggression, with 50 percent believing current sanctions have not gone far enough.

The survey by Redfield and Wilton Strategies found Britons back Ukraine even though they believe sanctions against Russia are ­causing pain at home, with six out of ten saying they are ­damaging the UK economy.

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