“In the face of increased Russian threats,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that the country will spend £4.2 billion ($4.9 billion) on five new Navy ships to increase its security.
“Russia’s actions put all of us at risk. As we give the Ukrainian people the support they need, we are also harnessing the breadth and depth of UK expertise to protect ourselves and our allies. This includes building the next generation of British warships,” Sunak said in a statement.
The spending is part of a programme under which three vessels are already under construction. All eight frigates are expected to be completed by the mid-2030s, the statement said.
Sunak is currently in Bali, Indonesia for the G20 summit where member countries are expected to take up the matter of Ukraine invasion with Russia. President Vladimir Putin is not attending the meet and has sent foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
At the opening session today, Sunak confronted Lavrov face-to-face, the first for a British Prime Minister since the war began. Sunak said the “Putin regime” had “stifled domestic dissent and fabricated a veneer of validity only through violence” and is hearing “a chorus of global opposition to its actions”.
Downing Street has said Sunak and allies would “call out” the Russian leader’s “callous disregard for human rights and stress that Russia’s role in the international system will never be normalised while the war in Ukraine continues.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also called on all nations to plan an end to the destructive war waged by Russia. “I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped. It will save thousands of lives.”
He further said that Ukraine would not allow Russian forces to regroup after their withdrawal from Kherson, and said there would be more fighting until Ukraine reclaims control of all of its occupied territory.