Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain will announce in a visit to Kyiv on Friday that his country will send more than $3 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in the next financial year, his country’s largest annual commitment since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
The new package, revealed in a statement, is part of an effort to offer reassurance amid concerns about a potential shortfall in Western support for Ukraine while badly needed military and financial aid packages remain blocked in the United States and the European Union because of political infighting.
The British aid will include at least 200 million pounds, about $255 million, to produce and procure thousands of military drones that are crucial for Ukraine, as well as deliveries of long-range missiles, air defenses and artillery ammunition.
“For two years, Ukraine has fought with great courage to repel a brutal Russian invasion,” Mr. Sunak said in the statement. “They are still fighting, unfaltering in their determination to defend their country.”
“We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come,” he added.
The new support from Britain will cement London’s reputation as one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia invaded nearly two years ago. It will also help to allay Ukrainians’ fears that Western support is wavering in the face of a protracted war that has now largely stalled on land.
Mr. Sunak’s visit comes just after President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine returned from a two-day tour of Baltic States, where he urged his allies to help hold the line. Russian forces are on the offensive along much of the front, and Moscow has launched a winter air campaign that is wearing down Ukraine’s air defenses.
Mr. Zelensky said that he was “grateful” for the Patriot missile systems that Ukraine’s allies have already delivered and that have helped his country weather the enormous Russian air assaults. But he said that Ukraine urgently needed to further reinforces its defenses if it were to withstand more air attacks.
“If Ukraine were given seven such systems today, people in Kharkiv, Kherson, and Odessa would not be dying,” Mr. Zelensky said during a news conference in Riga, Latvia’s capital, on Thursday. Without Patriots, he added, “it is impossible to survive.”
The British government also said in its statement that Mr. Sunak and Mr. Zelensky would sign on Friday “a historic U.K.-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation,” the first finalized bilateral agreement on security guarantees that any member of the Group of 7 has pledged to undertake.