Rishi Sunak and US Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated their support for Ukraine and the Western alliance at the Munich Security Conference in Germany today.
Mr Sunak told the conference it was “time to redouble support to Ukraine” by providing more artillery, armored vehicles and air defenses.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris said at the summit US support for Ukraine “will not waver” and Russia will be held accountable for its “crimes against humanity”.
Ms Harris also warned China against providing “deadly” support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Sunak told the conference it was “time to double down on Ukraine’s defences” by deploying more artillery, armored vehicles and air defences
US Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking at the conference, said US support for Ukraine “will not waver” and that Russia will be held accountable for its “crimes against humanity”.
Mr Sunak said: “Together we must help Ukraine protect its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones.
“That’s why we’re working with allies to equip Ukraine with the most advanced air defense systems and build the air force it needs to defend its nation.”
“The UK is of course ready to help any country provide aircraft for Ukraine to use today.
“But we also need to train Ukrainian pilots to use the most advanced jets. This is exactly what Britain is doing so that Ukraine will be able to defend its security in the long term.”
He also said Britain was the first country to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons.
Mr. Sunak continued: “To win peace, we must also rebuild the international order on which our collective security depends.
“First, that means complying with international law. The whole world must hold Russia accountable.
“We must see justice through the International Criminal Court for their heinous war crimes, whether in Bucha, Irpen, Mariupol or elsewhere, and Russia must also be held accountable for the horrific destruction it has wrought.”
It comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the UK, Paris and Brussels last week, where he urged the West to provide F-16 fighter jets for its air force.
Mr Sunak said the UK was the first country to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) and Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (left) shake hands before bilateral talks at the Munich Security Conference in Germany
US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke of Russian “crimes against humanity” being committed in Ukraine.
She said: “The United States has officially determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity.
“And I say to all those who have committed these crimes and their superiors who are complicit in these crimes, you will be held accountable.”
She added: “If Putin thinks he can wait for us, he is gravely mistaken. Time is not on his side.’
The Munich Security Conference brings together like-minded top officials from around the world to discuss pressing security issues such as the ongoing Ukraine war and US-China relations.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also agreed with Mr Sunak to “maintain record levels of international support for Ukraine” and discussed their support for Sweden and Finland joining NATO at a bilateral meeting ahead of the main conference.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (right) also agreed with Mr Sunak to “maintain record levels of international support for Ukraine”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU should partner with the bloc’s defense industry to speed up production of munitions badly needed on the battlefield in Ukraine.
She suggested the bloc should do what it did during the pandemic to prepare for large-scale production of a COVID vaccine.
Ms. von der Leyen added: “For example, we could think of advanced purchase agreements that give the defense industry the opportunity to invest in production lines now to be faster and increase supply.
“Now is really the time to accelerate production and expand the production of standardized products that Ukraine urgently needs, such as standardized ammunition.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested that the EU should join forces with the bloc’s defense industry to speed up and expand production of munitions badly needed on the battlefield in Ukraine
Mr Sunak is also expected to meet Ms von der Leyen to discuss an agreement to repair the Northern Ireland Protocol.
It comes after Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed his hope for a positive outcome of the UK-EU negotiations following a briefing phone call from Ms von der Leyen.
A spokesman for the Irish government said the Taoiseach had expressed a strong desire to see a “positive outcome that lays a new foundation for EU-UK relations”.
It said: “Above all, he hoped for an agreement that can pave the way for institutional restoration under the Good Friday Agreement. “They agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days as the matter progresses.”
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi commented on a row between his country and the US after Washington shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was flying over American territory.
He denounced Washington’s handling of the incident as “hysterical” and “absurd” and repeated Beijing’s claim that the plane was just an unmanned civilian airship that went off course.
Wang further asked if the US planned to shoot down every balloon in the sky on earth.
China’s director of the Bureau of the Central Commission on Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, questioned whether the US plans to shoot down every balloon in the sky on earth
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged world leaders to accelerate support for his nation as he addressed the conference via video link yesterday.
Kiev fears key supplies are arriving too slowly to defend against new offensives.
Mr Zelensky said: “We have to hurry. We need speed – speed of our agreements, speed of our delivery, speed of decisions to limit Russia’s potential.’
Following Mr Zelenskyy, Mr Macron urged allies to “step up our support” for Ukraine to help its forces launch a counteroffensive.
Mr Scholz insisted German support was “designed to last” but vaguely slammed other allies over stalled efforts to deliver promised tanks to Ukraine.
Berlin has promised to send some of the most advanced weapons from its military stockpiles but is struggling to persuade allies to do the same.
Herr Scholz said: “Anyone who can send such battle tanks should really do so now.”