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Minister Says UK Needs “Deep Pockets” For Ukraine Support To Continue

Nus Ghani (Alamy)

3 min read

Europe Minister Nus Ghani has warned that this year is “make or break” for Ukraine and warned the British taxpayers will need to have “deep pockets” to support its fight against Russia long term. 

“Make no mistake, this is the defining struggle of our generation, the make-or-break moment is this year,” she told PoliticsHome

Speaking on the sidelines of the Delphi Economic Forum in Greece, she refused to set a timeframe for how long the UK could continue supporting Ukraine. “We may not know when it may end so our pockets most definitely have to be deep,” she added. 

“I’ve always felt that this could take a little more longer than we’d want or anticipated. We do not know what the final costs may be but the greatest cost is of course Putin winning.”

Ghani added that the US support currently held up by Republicans in Congress would be a “game changer” for Ukraine if it were allowed to flow.

“We’ve got to get through this year,” she continued. 

“We know that if the Americans invest even more it will be a game-changer.” 

US House Speaker Mike Johnson refused to hold a vote on new military aid for Ukraine last year and this week did not make time to meet Foreign Secretary David Cameron, a move widely seen as a snub to British attempts to encourage the GOP to release new money.  Lord Cameron did meet Donald Trump at the former President’s golf club Mar-a-Lago where they discussed “how to end the killing” in Ukraine, according to a statement from Trump’s campaign team. 

Trump is widely expected to pull US support for Ukraine if reelected President in November, prompting MAGA Republicans to frustrate the Biden Administration’s attempts to deliver new equipment to Kyiv. 

Ghani – who supported Brexit – said her focus in the job would be on rallying European support for Ukraine.

“Obviously, the portfolio covers the whole of Europe but my main focus will be in doing everything I can to ensure that we are putting the message out, and collectively providing Ukraine with the support it needs,” she said. 

Germany has overtaken the UK in support for Ukraine, according to the Keil Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker. 

Ghani warned that Putin was watching this year of elections around the world and hoping that parliamentarians would be distracted by domestic issues but added that unlike the US and Europe this would not be the case in the UK, because Labour and the Conservatives are both committed to Ukraine. 

She said her own constituents understood that the outcome in Eastern Europe was an “existential threat” to British security if the war went Putin’s way. 

While MPs seem united on support for Ukraine, a split has emerged in the Tory party over whether to impose an arms embargo on Israel in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

Senior Tories including Sir Nicholas Soames and the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Alicia Kearns have called for arms sales to Israel to be stopped, but Government has stopped short of doing so. Ghani backed continuing sales.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron has rejected the calls, citing legal advice. 

“Legal advice is kept under constant review,” she said. “I am putting all of my focus and energy in ensuring we that we can do everything we can to get aid into Gaza.”


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