A new package of vital air defence capabilities for Ukraine was announced today at a meeting of defence ministers from the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).
The equipment, worth £92 million, will be procured in the coming months through the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) to bolster Ukraine’s ability to protect its critical national infrastructure, civilian population, and front-line personnel. The package will provide radars to help protect from indiscriminate Russian strikes as well as guns and a significant amount of ammunition.
The announcement came as the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, attended a meeting of defence ministers from the ten JEF nations in Amsterdam today to discuss continued support for Ukraine and shared security interests and concerns.
A particular focus was on aspects of protecting underwater and offshore infrastructure, with the ministers and representatives agreeing in a joint statement to deepen cooperation in this area, including through sharing of intelligence.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
The Joint Expeditionary Force brings together like-minded nations committed to preserving security and stability in Northern Europe, and providing ongoing support for Ukraine.
The UK has contributed a further £250 million to the International Fund for Ukraine and, with allies and partners, through the fund we are providing a package of air defence to help Ukraine protect their critical national infrastructure and defend against indiscriminate Russian air strikes.
The IFU uses financial contributions from international partners to procure priority military assistance for Ukraine. This will ensure the continued supply of military support – lethal and non-lethal – to Ukraine through 2023 and beyond.
More than £520m has been raised through the IFU following contributions from the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Lithuania.
The latest UK contribution of £250m comes after the Prime Minister met President Zelenskyy in Moldova earlier this month to discuss how best to protect Ukrainian cities and critical national infrastructure from Russian strikes. It takes the total pledged so far by all contributing nations to £770m.
The funding for air defence is the first of five expected support packages as part of the second round of IFU procurement.
The first round of procurement resulted in hundreds of proposals from suppliers, ten of which were selected. These included a consignment of reconnaissance and strike drones, which will arrive in Ukraine this summer.
During his visit to Amsterdam, the defence secretary also held bilateral meetings with the defence ministers from Estonia, Sweden, and the Netherlands, to discuss ongoing shared security commitments.
The JEF is a group of like-minded nations – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom. The nations share the same purpose, values and a common focus on security and stability in the JEF core regions of the High North, North Atlantic and Baltic Sea region.
The JEF provides a responsive, capable, and ready military force that undertakes integrated activities at sea, on land and in the air, across northern Europe. These activities are preventative and proportionate and demonstrate solidarity, capability, and resolve to stand together for security and stability in the JEF core regions.