UK’s defense chief pledges military support in visit to Ukraine

Ben Wallace reiterates London’s support for Kyiv in meetings with Ukrainian president, defense minister.

UK’s defense chief pledges military support in visit to Ukraine

The UK’s defense chief on Friday paid a visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

During his visit, Ben Wallace reiterated the UK’s support for Ukraine and pledged renewed military support for the Ukrainian military, including training for its soldiers as well as the delivery of lethal equipment.

Wallace met with Reznikov on the first day of his two-day trip before meeting with Zelenskyy.

The pair discussed how the UK will continue to support Ukraine and ensure that its needs, both military and humanitarian, are met in the course of its struggles against Russian attacks in the east.

“The working visit took place this week to allow the Defence Secretary to hear first-hand how the operational needs of Ukraine’s Armed Forces are developing as the nature of the conflict continues to change. This will ensure that the UK’s continued support is evolving to meet those requirements and is tailored to the situation on the ground,” a statement from the UK’s Defence Ministry said.

“The three agreed to work even more closely going forward in support of their shared goal of enabling Ukraine to liberate itself from illegal Russian occupation. They also discussed the range of equipment and training the UK is currently providing and what further support we can offer to help Ukrainian forces to defend their country,” it added.

The meetings between Wallace, Zelenskyy and Reznikov centered on what further steps the UK would take to ensure that Ukraine fully repulses Russian attacks in the eastern Donbas.

In March, Reznikov visited the UK and made an appearance at the Defence Ministry where he held talks with Wallace. In April, the Ukrainian defense chief along with a number of officials visited the Salisbury Plain training area and discussed British provisions of lethal aid to the Ukrainian army.

Since the start of hostilities between Moscow and Kyiv in February, the UK has supplied £750 million ($924 million) worth of military equipment to Ukrainian forces.

These include anti-tank missiles, air defense systems and armored vehicles. With the beginning of the second phase of the conflict, the UK announced a supply of M270 multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukrainian forces.

Hüseyin Demir

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