UK’s Sunak announces raised defence spending, new Ukraine aid

WARSAW: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday (Apr 23) announced additional funding for Ukraine and pledged to increase Britain’s own defence budget, during a visit to the Polish capital Warsaw.

Sunak said Britain was giving £500 million (US$622 million) in additional military funding for Kyiv as he held talks with Polish premier Donald Tusk and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Sunak said London would gradually boost defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2030.

“In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War, we cannot be complacent,” Sunak told reporters in Warsaw.

The increase in spending from 2.3 per cent will see the UK become one of the top spenders on defence in the 32-member NATO defence alliance after the United States, the British government said.

NATO countries are facing pressure to raise defence expenditure in the face of global threats, particularly from Russia and the possibility of an escalation in the Middle East.

Announcing the move, Sunak spoke of “an axis of authoritarian states”, singling out Russia, Iran, North Korea and China.

“I believe we must do more to defend our country, our interests, and our values,” Sunak said, adding the increase in spending would be “the biggest strengthening of national defence for a generation”.

It means the UK is expected to spend £87 billion on defence from 2030 to 2031, an increase of £23 billion over current levels.

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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