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UK's Johnson to Address Verkhovna Rada, Announce New $375 Million Defense Package to Ukraine

Sputnik News

Kirill Kurevlev

Johnson, who personally visited Kiev in early last month, has repeatedly stressed his government's unwavering support of the Ukrainian authorities, including in providing military aid, with humanitarian assistance totaling about $500 million.

The UK will provide Ukraine with a £300 million ($375 million) military aid package, Downing Street said on Monday.

It is expected that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the new package while speaking to the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, via video link.

"PM will address Ukraine's Parliament today [Tuesday] via live videolink, the first world leader to address the Verkhovna Rada since the conflict began. The Government will announce a new £300m package of defensive military aid for Ukraine and send specialised civilian protection vehicles," the statement said.

Last week, ministers briefed Parliament on plans to send modern Brimstone missiles and STORMER vehicle air defense systems to Ukraine. The package, which Johnson is expected to announce, includes electronic warfare equipment, a battery countermeasures radar system, GPS jamming equipment and thousands of night vision goggles.

It added that the UK will also send heavy unmanned aerial vehicles "to support isolated forces" and more than a dozen new specialized Toyota Landcruiser vehicles in the coming weeks to protect civilian officials in eastern Ukraine and evacuate civilians from frontline areas at the request of the Ukrainian government.

According to an AFP report regarding Johnson's expected speech, the prime minister is going to compare the current situation in Ukraine with the battle for Britain in World War II, saying that "when my country faced the threat of invasion during the Second World War, our parliament, like yours, continued to meet throughout the conflict."

"The British people showed such unity and resolve that we remember our time of greatest peril as our finest hour," he is expected to say, per the report. "This is Ukraine's finest hour, an epic chapter in your national story that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come."

Moreover, on the diplomatic front, Britain's embassy in the Ukrainian capital is said to be reopening soon.

Russia has slammed Western countries for increasing military equipment supplies to Kiev, warning that they risk worsening the crisis and that Russia reserves the right to retaliate to any direct engagement.

Russia launched a military operation in order to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine on February 24. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the army only targets the military infrastructure and Ukrainian troops and has completed the main tasks of the first stage - significantly reducing the combat potential of Ukraine. Moscow has said that the main goal of the operation is the liberation of Donbass.

© Sputnik

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