UK pledges hundreds of new attack drones to Ukraine ahead of Zelenskyy-Sunak summit | World News

UK pledges hundreds of new attack drones to Ukraine ahead of Zelenskyy-Sunak summit | World News

The UK has pledged to send hundreds of new long-range attack drones to Ukraine, as Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets with Rishi Sunak.

The Ukrainian president is with Mr Sunak at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat, for “substantive negotiations” over military aid.

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The government said Mr Sunak will confirm today the further provision of hundreds of air defence missiles and further unmanned aerial systems, including hundreds of new long-range attack drones with a range of over 200km.

Welcoming the Ukrainian president at the Buckinghamshire retreat, Mr Sunak told Mr Zelenskyy he is the first foreign leader he has welcomed at Chequers since becoming prime minister.

It comes as Mr Zelenskyy embarks on a multi-stop European tour for increased support from allies, as Kyiv prepares for its counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Mr Sunak tweeted a picture of the pair embracing, captioned “welcome back”.

The UK government’s announcement of further military aid follows confirmation that it has donated long-range precision missiles to Ukraine’s military.

The government said the extra provisions to be confirmed later today will be delivered in the coming months.

Earlier today, Mr Zelenskyy called Russian president Vladimir Putin a “despot” in a video address to the Copenhagen Summit, as he issued a new appeal to NATO to make a “positive political decision” on Kyiv’s membership bid at a July summit.

On Saturday, the German government promised Kyiv its biggest military support package so far, with further arms deliveries worth €2.7bn (£2.35bn).

France also pledged further military aid, as President Emmanuel Macron and Mr Zelenskyy met in a surprise summit in Paris on Sunday.

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Mr Macron’s office said France will supply dozens of light tanks and armoured vehicles “in the weeks ahead”, without giving specific numbers.

Britain has been one of the largest suppliers of military aid to Ukraine since February 2022’s invasion, contributing £2.3bn worth of support last year and pledging a similar amount for 2023.

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Mr Sunak and Mr Zelenskyy last met in February, when the Ukrainian president made his first visit to the UK since Russia invaded his country.

Meanwhile, fierce fighting continues in Ukraine’s eastern city of Bakhmut, inflicting heavy losses on both sides.

Neither Kyiv nor Moscow’s forces have been able to take full control of the city despite months of fighting, as analysis suggests the battle for the city is not about seizing ground but maximising enemy casualties.

Mr Zelenskyy has said his troops would not attack Russian territory as part of their counteroffensive.

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Author: Shirley