Boris urges government to give Ukraine long-range missiles to ‘bring the war to an end’

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Former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on a visit earlier this year to Thales in Belfast who manufacture the NLAW and Starstreak missiles. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Former prime minister Boris Johnson has called for greater Western assistance for Ukraine, including supplying the war-torn country with longer-range missile systems.

The former PM told the Commons it was not enough to tackle such strikes when they were in the air, and Kiev’s forces needed the capability to hit launch sites further away.

Speaking during defence questions, Mr Johnson said: “The House will know that supplies of British, American and other Western equipment have been absolutely vital in helping our Ukrainian friends to protect themselves against continuing and merciless Russian attacks, and I thank him and the Government for all that they have done and continue to do.

“Does he agree with me that we and our allies must help our Ukrainian friends not just to take out the drones and missiles, and that means supplying them with anti-aircraft systems and fixed-wing aircraft to help shoot them down, but also to take out the launch sites of those missiles and drones by supplying the Ukrainians with the use of longer-range missile systems such as ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) because that is the way truly to protect our Ukrainian friends and to bring the war to an end as soon as possible?”

Russia is provoking worldwide fury with attacks on civilian infrastructure such as the power network, leaving millions of people struggling for heat and light.  

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Vladimir Putin is currently “breaking all the rules of law and taking advantage of Ukraine’s short-range weapons to launch ‘Iranian kamikaze drones.”

Mr. Wallace said he constantly reviews the “weapon systems we could provide” and is “open-minded to seeing what we do next” should Russia continue to target civilian areas and break the Geneva Conventions.

The Defences Secretary also paid tribute to Boris Johnson saying: “Without my right honourable friend’s support to me and Ukraine, none of this would have been possible and I want to place on record my great appreciation for his support through that process.”

He added: “He’s absolutely right that the Russians are taking advantage of the short-range capability of the Ukrainian armed forces by using these Iranian kamikaze drones.

“As we see against all the rules of law, including the Geneva Conventions, the mass targeting of civilian critical infrastructure is not only a war crime, but is a war crime that we must see does not go unpunished.

“I constantly review the weapon systems we could provide. I hear his call on ATACMS from the United States.

“We, too, have in our armoury potential weapon systems that are longer and, should the Russians continue to target civilian areas and try and break those Geneva Conventions, then I will be open-minded to seeing what we do next.”

Meanwhile Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attended a virtual meeting of G7 leaders on Monday whereby the leaders paid tribute to the resolve of the G7 this year, and the group’s unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

The Prime Minister said it was clear Putin was realising he could no longer win on the battlefield and was now resorting to cynical tactics, including barbaric attacks on critical national infrastructure.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during a Virtual Call with G7 leaders from the media suite in 9 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Negotiations while the Kremlin inflicted such harm on the Ukrainian people was unimaginable, and Putin needed to withdraw his forces before genuine peace discussions could happen, the Prime Minister said, adding that any political strategy had to follow the battlefield reality.

Mr Sunak called on G7 partners to combine their efforts and match their support to Ukraine in 2023. Remaining aligned politically, economically, and militarily was the only way to be sure Putin felt the cost of his actions, the Prime Minister reflected.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to Chancellor Scholz’s leadership of the G7 this year, and welcomed Prime Minister Kishida to the role of President in 2023, including his focus on Ukraine, and shared economic challenges, such as China.

The joint statement can be found here

Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

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