London (EFE). The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, insisted this Wednesday that “all options are on the table” to support Ukraine, including sending combat aircraft, but refused to commit or give deadlines for it, in a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky.
«We have already been very clear regarding the supply of weapons: all options are on the table (…) And of course the fighter-bombers are part of the conversation and today we have talked about it. That is why we have agreed that we will train Ukrainian pilots, because the first step is to have people who can fly them,” Sunak said.
In his appearance before the press in Dorset (south-west England) after visiting a military training camp where the United Kingdom trains Ukrainian soldiers, Sunak reiterated that his country has led military support for Ukraine in Europe (only the US has sent more aid) and was annoyed by their supposed “reluctance” to send planes.
“There has been no reluctance. We have genuinely led the support for Ukraine (…). All the options are on the table, but the first thing is to have people capable of flying with very sophisticated devices. And there is also a very complex supply chain, that is part of our conversations and with our allies,” he added.
For the conservative leader, the most urgent priorities for Ukraine now are long-range missiles and tanks, and London has already announced that it will increase shipments of both to help Ukraine win over Russia.
For his part, Zelensky acknowledged that the war has entered a phase of “stagnation” from which it will not emerge unless Western countries increase their military aid.
“Without the weaponry that we have talked about with Rishi (Sunak) there will be a stalemate that will not bring anything good,” said Zelensky, who earlier gave a speech in the British Parliament and met King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.
More British military aid
Coinciding with the visit to British territory, the UK Government has announced additional military aid to kyiv and has also issued further sanctions against the Russian regime.
The sanctions affect six entities that provide military equipment, such as drones, for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as a number of people connected to financial networks that help keep Kremlin-linked individuals in power.
Separately, London will extend the training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to air and sea, in addition to its ground programme, which will include the training of fighter pilots and marines, in “a long-term investment” in the Ukrainian Army, according to a statement released today by Downing Street.
The training will ensure “that pilots can fly sophisticated NATO standard combat aircraft in the future,” the note states.
As part of that investment in long-term capabilities, the UK will work with Ukraine and international allies to “coordinate collective support to meet the defensive needs” of the former Soviet republic.
The United Kingdom will also “accelerate” the delivery of “lethal” military equipment, after announcing a few days ago that it will provide Challenger 2 tanks, the statement said.
Zelensky arrives in Paris for his meeting with Macron and Scholz
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Paris on Wednesday night for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Zelensky landed at Orly airport at around 20:45 GMT aboard an official British plane and will go immediately to the Elysée Palace.
There the three leaders will make a brief statement to the press before holding a working dinner, in which the support of both countries and that of the European Union for Ukraine will be discussed in the face of the Russian invasion, which will be one year old. the next day 24