UK considers ‘fighter jet coalition’ with Ukraine as Zelenskyy meets with prime minister
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the United Kingdom on Monday, negotiating further military support with the nation’s leader.
Zelenskyy met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Chequers, the leader’s official country residence. Sunak greeted his counterpart warmly, hugging and shaking hands before ushering him inside.
“This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke,” Sunak said.
First and foremost on Zelenskyy’s mind was a mission to form a “fighter jet coalition” that will aid Ukrainian forces in aerial combat.
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The U.K. will not provide aircraft for battle but has committed to help train Ukrainian pilots.
“[Ukrainians] need the sustained support of the international community to defend against the barrage of unrelenting and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year,” the prime minister said.
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He added,”We must not let them down.”
Russia reacted with anger to the U.K.’s continued material support of Ukraine.
“Britain aspires to be at the forefront among countries that continue to pump weapons into Ukraine,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday. “We repeat once again: It cannot yield any drastic and fundamental influence on the way the special military operation (in Ukraine) is unfolding. But, definitely, it leads to further destruction. … It makes this whole story for Ukraine much more complicated.”
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The U.K. has proved itself as one of Ukraine’s most active allies in repelling invading Russian forces via gifts of weaponry and military training programs.
Last week, U.K. Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced to Parliament that the country would be sending Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine.
The cruise missiles have a range of over 155 miles and will allow Ukrainian forces to strike targets far from the front lines.