UK Ministry of Defense on security agreement with Ukraine: 2024 must be a turning point
Grant Shapps (Photo: EPA/ Andy Rain)

2024 must be a "turning point", and for Ukraine – a year when "the fate of the nation can be decided", UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps said in an interview with Guardian News. He also detailed points from the defense agreement between Ukraine and Britain and clarified that the country has already prepared 60,000 military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the beginning of the great war.

Shapps believes that for Ukraine, 2024 can be a moment when "the fate of its nation can be decided", and for Britain – when the future of the country's national defense will be decided.

"So, 2024 must be a turning point. For the world, it will be the most democratic year in history, when almost half of the planet's population will come to the polls. The choice is very serious," he emphasized.

On January 12, 2024, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, signed a security agreement between the countries with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. According to Shapps, "this is the beginning of a 100-year alliance that we are building with our Ukrainian friends. It envisages increasing our military support to 2.5 billion pounds sterling (≈$3.2 billion)".

He noted that 200 million pounds (≈ $254 million) of these 2.5 billion will be directed to the production and purchase of thousands of drones, including reconnaissance and long-range strike drones.

According to him, the country "will become the largest supplier of drones, which will be produced here, in Great Britain, in tandem with international partners, which will help strengthen the capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles".

"But our new agreement with Ukraine is much more than money. It formalizes our support in everything – from the exchange of intelligence and cybersecurity to medical and military training," he noted.

The head of the country's Ministry of Defense also spoke about cooperation with Ukraine in the field of defense and emphasized that Britain has gathered "about 10 countries to help Ukraine train here".

He stated that more than 60,000 Ukrainian servicemen have already been trained under British programs since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Also, since the inception of the new maritime coalition with Norway to protect Ukraine's maritime flank, more than 20 partner countries have joined it.

"Putin believes that the West lacks resilience. And since the future of the world order is at stake, we must prove that he is wrong. Ending his war with victory will only increase the risk of escalation," he concluded.

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