UK convenes international conference to secure military aid for Ukraine

The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace giving a press conference in Northern Norway, Bardufoss Airfield. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace has hosted the second International Defence Donor Conference for Ukraine, leading efforts of partners to bolster the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The conference yesterday (31 March) brought together over 35 international partners to discuss the latest situation in Ukraine and the country’s most pressing requirements for lethal and non-lethal military aid.

The international community has committed to widening its package of military support for Ukraine and explored new ways of sustaining the Armed Forces of Ukraine over the longer term, including the provision of increasingly capable air and coastal defence systems, artillery and counter battery capabilities, armoured vehicles and protected mobility, as well as wider training and logistical support.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP said:

[This] donor conference demonstrates the international community’s determination to support Ukraine in the face of President Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion by Russian forces.

We are increasing our coordination to step-up that military support and ensure the Armed Forces of Ukraine grow stronger as they continue to repel Russian forces.

The first Donor Conference was held on 25 February, boosting the provision of immediate support as Russia commenced its invasion. The number of participants has since increased to 35.

The UK Government is now working with Poland, the United States, and other partners to coordinate the provision of longer term international support, alongside the recently announced new UK military support package for Ukraine.

The UK has supported Ukraine since the 2014 invasion, training over 20,000 Ukrainian personnel, and earlier this year started providing lethal aid. This has included over 4,000 NLAWs and Javelin anti-tank systems, as well as committing to send Starstreak air defence systems and 6,000 new anti-tank and high explosive missiles. This is in addition to a range of non-lethal aid including body armour, helmets, boots, ration packs, rangefinders and communications equipment.

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