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Ukraine calls for more weapons from Nato allies to resist Russia

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says Nato should send more weapons (Olivier Matthys/AP)
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says Nato should send more weapons (Olivier Matthys/AP)

Ukraine has urged Western allies to increase the supply of weapons to help Kyiv’s troops fight back against the Russian invasion.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK was “stepping up” the supply of arms as she joined Nato counterparts in Brussels to hear the demands from Ukraine for increased firepower.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged that Ukraine urgently needs more weapons as he appeared alongside Kyiv’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba.

He said “I am certain that we will address the need” for more air defence systems, anti-tank missiles and “heavier weapons”.

Belgium Russia Ukraine War NATO
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrives at Nato HQ on Thursday (Olivier Matthys/AP)

The Czech Republic has reportedly sent Soviet-era tanks and personnel carriers to Ukraine and The Times suggested the UK was also drawing up plans to supply armoured vehicles to help resist Vladimir Putin’s forces.

“In the face of Putin’s appalling aggression in Ukraine the G7 and Nato are stepping up our efforts on sanctions and on weapons,” Ms Truss said at Nato headquarters.

“The UK is now banning all imports of Russian energy, we are sanctioning more banks and we are stepping up our supply of weapons to Ukraine.”

Nato allies fear that Russia’s decision to withdraw from areas around Kyiv will allow Mr Putin to concentrate his offensive in Ukraine’s south and east.

Mr Kuleba told reporters at the alliance’s headquarters: “My agenda is very simple, it has only three items on it: weapons, weapons and weapons.

“We are confident that the best way to help Ukraine now is to provide it with all necessary (weapons) to contain Putin and to defeat the Russian army in the territory of Ukraine so the war does not spill over further.

“In recent weeks the Ukrainian army and the entire Ukrainian nation has demonstrated that we know how to fight, we know how to win, but without sustainable and sufficient supplies of all weapons requested by Ukraine, these wins will be accompanied by enormous sacrifices.”

He suggested an increased supply of arms could help prevent further atrocities such as the slaughter of civilians in the town of Bucha, close to Kyiv.

“The more weapons we get and the sooner they arrive in Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved, the more cities and villages will not be destroyed, and there will be no more Buchas,” he said.

“I call on all allies to put aside their hesitation, their reluctance, to provide Ukraine with everything it needs because as weird as it may sound today, weapons serve the purpose of peace.”

According to The Times, options under consideration in the Ministry of Defence include sending Mastiff or Jackal patrol vehicles to Ukraine.

The UK is already supplying equipment including anti-tank and anti-air missiles to Ukraine’s armed forces.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov and senior military officers visited the UK this week to examine the equipment that may be available to them – including armoured vehicles.

Armed forces minister James Heappey said: “It was an honour to show minister Havrylov and his generals the kit the UK hopes to provide next and to discuss some new weapons that have been trialled recently with UK forces.”

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