Sunak promises further support for Ukraine ahead of Nato chief meeting

Peace in the UK cannot be taken for granted while Vladimir Putin wages war in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak said as he prepared to welcome Nato’s chief to Downing Street.

Jens Stoltenberg will become the first international leader to visit No 10 since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister, in a sign of the concerns over the situation in Ukraine and the importance of the Nato alliance.

The meeting comes as the Government considers how to update its integrated review of defence and foreign policy to respond to the changing threats around the world.

Boris Johnson visit to Poland and Estonia
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg will visit Ukrainian troops being trained in the UK (Leon Neal/PA)

Ahead of the meeting on Wednesday, Mr Sunak said: “Nato is the cornerstone of our security, and the security of our allies.

“As the war in Ukraine continues to rage, we must not take peace at home for granted.

“I am determined the UK will be the bedrock of Nato for generations to come.

“But in order to face the challenging future we must evolve as an alliance to meet, and remain ahead of, the threat from our adversaries.

“We must also continue backing the Ukrainian people in their resistance to Putin’s brutality.”

The UK will send a further 12,000 extreme cold weather sleeping kits and 150 tents to Ukraine’s military as troops face continued fighting during the freezing winter.

Mr Stoltenberg will also visit Ukrainian troops at Lydd army camp in Kent as they receive training from UK counterparts as part of Operation Interflex.

The UK is also set to deliver more than 25,000 sets of extreme cold weather clothing by mid-December, ensuring troops are able to operate and survive the plunging temperatures in Ukraine.

The extreme cold weather kits are in addition to more than 7,000 sets of normal cold weather kit distributed to recruits on Operation Interflex.

Mr Sunak said: “I’m pleased that UK-donated kit will be keeping the Ukrainian Armed Forces warm and safe as they face a perilous winter fighting for their country.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “With winter fast approaching, this equipment will ensure that the armed forces of Ukraine are able to operate effectively through the next few months.

“Alongside our training programme and the provision of lethal aid, it demonstrates our commitment to making sure that the basic Ukrainian soldier is well trained, well equipped and given the best possible chance to fight and determine their own future.”