All countries could ‘do more’ in supporting Ukraine, Defense Secretary says
The defense secretary said all countries could “do more” when it comes to providing support to Ukraine.
Ben Wallace declined to confirm whether Stormer armored anti-aircraft vehicles had been sent to Ukraine, but said the UK would ‘continue to give them the air defense they need’.
The minister was speaking during a visit to The Hague for the Invictus Games, the event founded by the Duke of Sussex to help rehabilitate injured and ill servicemen and veterans.
When asked if countries like Germany could do more for Ukraine, he told the PA news agency: “We could all do more.
“The Ukrainians need, above all, long-range artillery and artillery shells.
“They are currently using Russian Soviet stocks and the calibers are different from what the West has, so not only are we trying to help them get those calibers so they can be used immediately, but at the same time we are help explore the development of new capabilities with what would be called NATO calibers so that if they choose to move on to that, we can all help them with procurement.
Earlier this week it emerged that the UK was to send armored anti-aircraft vehicles to the Ukrainian military as it prepared for a Russian attack.
The Stormer vehicle launches Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles which can be used to target planes and helicopters.
It comes after Britain invited Ukrainian generals to Salisbury Plain earlier this month to view military kit that may be available to them, including armored vehicles.
Mr Wallace declined to confirm that these vehicles had been dispatched.
“I’m not going to comment on operational details. I think that would put people at risk,” he said.
“We will continue to dialogue daily with the Ukrainians. I only spoke to my counterpart yesterday.
“They tell us what they need for military equipment and where we can either we meet it from our own stocks and if we can’t we work with third countries to try to encourage them to do so, or we reassure the countries that could donate it so that we can contribute to their security.
Pressed on whether Stormer vehicles are being sent or have already been sent, Mr Wallace said: ‘I will make a statement to Parliament next week but we have said we will commit to delivering armored vehicles.
“We also spoke publicly about delivering high-velocity anti-aircraft missiles,” he said, adding that they were leaving on an armored vehicle.
“We will continue to give them the air defense they need.”
Mr Wallace also said it was very important that India – where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi – had the ability to “lead”, adding that Ukraine “means to all of us”.
Asked about the importance of India starting to loosen ties with Russia, Mr Wallace said India was “a great strategic nation” and a “massive” economy in the world.
He said: “It is very important that India has the ability to lead and I would say that as the Prime Minister will say or has said, Ukraine matters to all of us, what is happening there. is important and we should all stand tall and open in condemning Russia’s illegal actions and invasion.
“I think what we also learned from the invasion of Ukraine is that no country benefits from being overly dependent on any country, whether you are Germany and Germany. “Russian gas supply, whether you are India on large quantities of Russian military equipment, this is not the case. It does not benefit any country to be too dependent.
“It’s the same in the UK. I think more than anything, India will be looking at the performance of Russian equipment in Ukraine and wondering if they have the best equipment possible.
Asked if India would consider Britain important enough to be listened to, Mr Wallace said the question should be put to India, but added that Britain was a “power major military.