Johnson urges Sunak to send fighter jets to Ukraine

Boris Johnson has stepped up calls for Britain to supply jet fighters to the Ukrainians to help drive out Russian forces from their territory.

On the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the former prime minister said the UK should “break the ice” and send RAF Typhoons to the government in Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed for US F16 fighters as the Ukrainians prepare to mount an expected counter-offensive, but western allies have so far been reluctant to agree, citing lengthy required training.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Johnson said: “What the Ukrainians want is F16s. We don’t have F16s. We do have Typhoons. I think there is an argument for the UK breaking the ice and giving them some Typhoons.

A RAF Typhoon fighter jet
Boris Johnson has urged the UK to supply Typhoon jet fighters (PA)

“If it is a question of training people up to use those machines, we can do that.”Mr Johnson said it is “absolutely crucial” the Ukrainians have the equipment they need if they are to drive out Russian forces and prevent them from re-grouping for a fresh offensive.

“There is clearly a possibility, unless the Ukrainians get the help that they need, that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin can kind of manufacture out of the land that he is able to retain some sort of victory from this disaster,” he said.

“That is why it is vital that we help the Ukrainians to expunge Putin’s forces from every part of their territory.”

Mr Johnson also said it would be a “historic mistake” for China to support Russia in the conflict by supplying it with weapons.

“Why does China want to be contaminated by association with Putin, who has revealed himself to be this gangster and adventurer? I think it would be a big, big mistake by China,” he said.