Rishi Sunak will promise to send more military hardware to Ukraine when he meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a surprise meeting at Chequers, the UK prime minister’s country residence near London.
The Ukrainian president has been visiting European capitals over the weekend as he drums up support for his country ahead of an anticipated counter-offensive against Russia.
On Monday he announced a visit to the UK. “Today — London,” Zelenskyy tweeted. “The UK is a leader when it comes to expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air. This co-operation will continue today.”
Sunak will confirm further provision of hundreds of air-defence missiles and more unmanned aerial systems, including hundreds of new long-range attack drones with a range of more than 200km, Downing Street said.
The UK confirmed last week it had provided Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine, the first long-range cruise missile in Kyiv’s arsenal.
Downing Street said the extra weaponry would be provided over the coming months and would help Ukraine in its counter-offensive.
Sunak said: “This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke.
“We must not let them down. The front lines of Putin’s war of aggression may be in Ukraine, but the faultlines stretch all over the world.”
The UK provided £2.3bn worth of military support to Ukraine last year and this year has offered a squadron of Challenger 2 battle tanks along with other weaponry including armoured vehicles and self-propelled guns.
The UK has also trained 15,000 Ukrainian troops in Britain, as well as training troops in Ukraine between 2014 and 2022.
Zelenskyy on Sunday held talks with the leaders in France and Germany, having visited Rome on Saturday.