Boris Johnson Announces £100m Of Further Military Aid To Ukraine
Boris Johnson and Olaf Scholz met earlier today
4 min read
The UK will provide a new delivery of military aid to Ukraine, the Prime Minister has announced at a Downing Street press conference alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Today marks the first time the pair have met face-to-face since Scholz was elected to lead a coalition government in Germany, which has faced criticism for its refusal to go further in reducing its dependence on Russian energy.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Johnson said UK will sending a further £100m of lethal aid to Ukraine after he and his German counterpart agreed that Europe must go further to support the ally.
"Today I can announce the UK will send a further £100m worth of high-grade military equipment to Ukraine's armed forces including more star streak anti-aircraft missiles which fly at three times the speed of sound, another 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions capable to lingering in the sky until directed to their target," he said.
"We will also send more helmets, night vision and body armour on top of the 200,000 pieces of non-lethal military equipment the UK has already dispatched.
"But Olaf and I agree that our two countries, and our allies must go further and provide more help to Ukraine."
He added that the UK and Germany "will work together to ensure our armed forces are fit for the future".
Earlier this week Ukraine's ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk criticised Germany for failing to deliver tanks and anti-aircraft systems which Kiev had been "expecting" Berlin to deliver.
"The lists are there, the German government knows about them, but unfortunately it remains silent until today," he said on Thursday.
But both Johnson and Scholz used the press conference to accuse President Putin of committing war crimes after a group of civilians were hit in a Russian rocket attack on a station on Friday morning, leading to at least 39 fatalities.
"Is it a war crime indiscriminately to attack civilians, and Russia’s crimes in Ukraine will not go unnoticed or unpunished," Johnson said.
"Germany and the UK also share exactly the same conviction that Putin must fail in Ukraine.
"How we respond to Russia's invasion will define the international order for years to come. We cannot let Putin's crimes go unpunished."
Scholz agreed that the civilian deaths in Friday's rocket attack amounted to a war crime.
"The Russian president bears the responsibility for these war crimes. Boris Johnson and I share this assessment," he added.
"I call upon Russia again to finally agree a ceasefire and withdraw its troops."
Johnson welcomed a further commitment from Scholz to work together on renewables and energy security in a bid to reduce dependence on Russian energy.
Scholz also announced plans for Germany to "wean" itself off energy imported from Russia, with a pledge to be independent of oil imports by the end of this year.
"Germany is already starting to wean off its dependence and we’re diversifying our sources and investing at a large scale in order to establish the technical infrastructure," he said.
"We are doing all we can, and we are doing a lot. We are actively working to get independence from the import of oil and we think we will be able to make it this year."
Responding to the comments, Johnson said: "This is not easy for any of us and I applaud the seismic decisions taken by Olaf’s government to move Germany away from Russian hydrocarbons.
"We cannot transform our respective energy systems overnight but we also know that (Vladimir) Putin’s war will not end overnight."
Boris Johnson has already pressed Western allies to take a much clearer stance following Putin's invasion of Ukraine, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss telling fellow Nato colleagues earlier this week she wanted "more countries" to commit to reducing their use of Russian energy.
The UK has itself committed to ending imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of this year, with pledges to entirely end the use of Russian gas after that.
The meeting comes after Ukraine also criticised Scholz and the German government for taking tough enough steps to counter Russian aggression.
Speaking earlier this week, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: "As long as the West continues buying Russian gas and oil it is supporting Ukraine with one hand while supporting the Russian war machine with another hand.
Calling for the Germans to move faster, he added: "While Berlin has time, Kyiv doesn’t."
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