Meeting Ukraine’s demand for tanks and jets “looks very difficult,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday, responding hours earlier to a direct request from Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukraine’s president addressed NATO leaders, including Johnson, during an emergency meeting in Brussels on Thursday. While Zelenskyj thanked the NATO countries for their military and humanitarian aid, he appealed for tanks and fighter planes, which have not been offered so far.
Johnson told reporters after the meeting that Western allies were working to increase lethal aid to Ukraine “in the quantity and quality” needed to defend Ukraine from Russian invasion.
But he said aid is unlikely to extend to tanks and jets.
“Logistically it looks very difficult, both with armor and jets,” he said. “We are very aware of what he is asking. The equipment we think is most valuable right now is missiles, which they can use to defend themselves.”
Still, Johnson admitted that NATO and G7 members felt “distress” at their “inability” to “do more to help Ukraine” “given the restrictions.”
Britain has said it will send a further 6,000 missiles, provide £25m for Ukraine’s armed forces and increase British troop presence in Bulgaria.
No Western democracy is currently considering gaining a foothold in Ukraine, Johnson added, and no one is ready to enforce a no-fly zone over the country, as Ukraine has requested.
The prime minister also refused to comment on whether NATO would intervene militarily in Ukraine if Russia used chemical weapons, saying only that there would be “severe consequences”. A Western official earlier Thursday described NATO military intervention in this scenario as “highly unlikely”.
When asked why the Kremlin spokesman recently called him “the most active participant in the anti-Russian race,” Johnson replied, “There is not a single person at the G7 table who is against the Russian people.”
“I am the only Prime Minister in the history of the UK whose name is Boris. I’m not remotely anti-Russian,” he said. “We can all agree on that [is] that the way Vladimir Putin is currently leading Russia is absolutely disastrous.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/very-difficult-to-provide-ukraine-with-tanks-and-jets-says-boris-johnson/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication “Very difficult” to supply Ukraine with tanks and jets – POLITICO