British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans Monday to pledge to maintain or increase military aid to Ukraine next year, confronting international competitors “not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism”.
The UK government’s support for Ukraine has remained unchanged despite the turmoil of recent months as Boris Johnson was succeeded as prime minister by Liz Truss and then Sunak.
However, some conservatives see Sunak as less aggressive towards China than Truss – although a scheduled meeting between Sunak and Chinese President Xi Jinping at this month’s G20 summit in Bali fell through and last week London banned China-made security cameras from sensitive government buildings .
“Under my leadership, we will not choose the status quo. We will do things differently,” Sunak said in an excerpt released by his office from his first major foreign policy speech, which he delivered Monday in the financial district of want to keep London.
Sunak said his priorities would be “freedom, openness and the rule of law”.
European Union officials have questioned whether Britain under Johnson was truly committed to its legal Brexit deals, especially with regard to Northern Ireland.
As for Ukraine, Sunak indicated that there was no change in Johnson and Truss’ policies.
“We will support Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will maintain or increase our military aid next year. And we will provide new support for air defense,” he said.
In September, Britain said it was Ukraine’s second largest military donor after the United States, with £2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) in aid this year.
Sunak said Britain should take the same long-term approach as its opponents and competitors, which he did not directly name in the speech excerpts, and that Britain should take “an evolutionary leap” in its approach to foreign policy.
“It means building a stronger economy at home – because it is the foundation of our strength abroad. And it means standing up to our competitors, not with grand rhetoric but with robust pragmatism,” he said.
Sunak has previously described China as a “systemic challenge” and “the greatest state threat to our economic security”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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