Russia must face “long-term consequences” for its actions in Ukraine, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said, as Moscow continued to target Ukraine’s infrastructure in a new wave of missile strikes.
Mr Wallace said the UK was continuing to provide military aid to the government in Kyiv, with another £2.3 billion worth of support due next year to help it acquire the weapons it needs.
“We recently donated thousands of anti-air missiles so we can bring down these drones,” he said as Ukrainian officials said on Thursday the Russians had launched more than 120 missiles at their country.
“At the same time Britain is providing their knowledge and expertise about making sure we co-ordinate better the air defence on the ground.
“But also, in parallel, it’s making sure that Ukraine can win on the ground, that it can push back Russia’s forces.”
At the same time, Mr Wallace said it was important that Russia understood there would be a price to pay for its illegal invasion of its neighbour.
Speaking during a visit to Manchester Airport to meet military personnel covering for striking Border Force staff, he referred to comments by former prime minister Gordon Brown calling for a special international war crimes tribunal to be created.
“I noticed Gordon Brown’s comments yesterday,” he said.
“Very importantly, we should point out and remind the world that what we’re seeing is Russia breaking international law, systematically being involved in war crimes and rape and all those things.
“You can’t ignore that, we have to all stand up to that and make sure Russia understands that unless it ceases what it is doing now, there will be long-term consequences.”
In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, Mr Brown drew a comparison with the international declaration which led to the Nuremberg tribunals at the end of the Second World War.
“Britain and the United States should now take the lead in not only supporting Ukraine but protecting the legacy of 1945: the Nuremberg moment that gave us the idea of accountability for international crimes,” he said.
“There should be no hiding place for Russia’s warmongers. By striking fear that long prison sentences lie ahead, many of his inner cabal could start to distance themselves from Putin.”