(London) Ukraine’s allies must support Kyiv firmly and for a long time if they do not want “aggression” to triumph in Europe as it has not done since World War II, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday.
Posted at 4:22pm
Countries supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian invasion must keep their cool and ensure Kyiv “has the strategic staying power to survive and ultimately win,” he wrote in an op-ed published by the Sunday times.
Mr Johnson paid a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital on Friday, the day after French, German and Italian leaders expressed their support for Kiev’s candidacy for the European Union.
There, the British Prime Minister offered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy increased British military aid to help his troops fight Russian forces.
“Time is of the essence now,” Mr Johnson said in a lengthy column published on the newspaper’s website on Saturday night.
“It will all depend on how Ukraine can build up its ability to defend its territory faster than Russia can renew its attacking capabilities. Our task is to give the Ukrainian side time,” he said.
To help, he outlines a four-point plan for “ongoing funding and technical assistance” for Kyiv, which he says needs to be maintained and possibly expanded “for years to come.”
Mr Johnson has previously warned the conflict could drag on into late next year as Ukrainian officials continue to ask NATO for more military and logistical support.
After the Russian troops failed to take Kyiv after the invasion launched on February 24, they concentrated their offensives in the south and east.
While the West has imposed a series of unprecedented economic sanctions on Russian companies and figures close to the Kremlin, many countries fear that a continuation of the conflict will exacerbate global economic difficulties, including inflation and shortages.
Despite inflation and rising fuel prices in the UK not seen in 40 years, Mr Johnson stressed that economic concerns should not lead to a hasty settlement of the conflict.
In his opinion, allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep the conquered territories in Ukraine would not contribute to a more peaceful world.
On the contrary, “such a masquerade would be the greatest victory for aggression in Europe since World War II,” he believes.