UK to arm Ukraine with anti-ship missiles – Kiev
Britain will supply Kiev with anti-ship missiles to potentially use against the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s envoy to Britain, Vadim Pristayko, said in an interview with Novoye Radio on Tuesday. The official did not specify what munitions London is sending, nor the date they are set to arrive in Ukraine.
“For the first time, our armed forces, the Navy in particular, will receive real weapons, missiles that will finally enable us to have something against the Russians in the Black and Azov Seas,” the diplomat said.
The upcoming delivery of anti-ship missiles apparently falls under the £1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) deal, reached by London and Kiev last year. Under the agreement, the UK provides Ukraine with a loan, which Kiev has to pay back within 10 years, with the funds set to be spent on navy-related military hardware supplied by Britain. According to Pristayko, the equipment includes two minesweepers that are currently being “refitted” at a dockyard in Scotland, as well as other hardware.
“Our armed forces had never received such serious funds from abroad for their development,” the diplomat said.
Ukraine has enjoyed an uptick in foreign military aid in recent months amid fears of an allegedly looming attack by its neighbor, Russia. The UK has been among the top arms suppliers of Ukraine, sending in a large cache of NLAW shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles back in January, as well as deploying additional military instructors to teach Ukrainian forces to operate the systems.
Western media outlets and top politicians have repeatedly warned of Moscow’s allegedly imminent invasion of Ukraine, which has failed to materialize so far, with no solid evidence of the existence of such plans ever produced. Moscow has consistently rejected seeking to attack Kiev, denying claims that the movement of its troops in the relative vicinity of the Belarusian or Ukrainian border somehow threaten its neighbor.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba on Monday revealed the scale of foreign military aid Ukraine has already received.
“Ukraine has gotten more international political and economic support, as well as security,” the top diplomat said. “Over these weeks and months, we have received more than $1.5 billion, and more than 1,000 tons of arms and armaments.”