Ukraine: More smart aid ‘unwilling to talk’
The UK has taken the lead in providing bilateral assistance to Ukraine, and Johnson has now said the UK is working closely with the US and EU to coordinate sanctions. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss answered questions in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning as the government aims to speed up the parliamentary process on economic crimes to bolster sanctions against Russia.
The bill proposes a crackdown on the “dirty money” Russian oligarchs keep in Britain and could come into effect from next Tuesday, March 15.
Ms Truss told MPs that the total economic sanctions imposed by the UK were £364 billion, but there had been criticism that this fell short of sanctions imposed by other countries.
According to Castellum AI, the UK has imposed only 271 penalties since 2014, compared to 766 in the European Union, 800 in Switzerland, 900 in Canada and 1,200 in the US.
Ms Truss said: “What we are trying to do here is weaken the Russian economy, we have targeted £364 billion in assets and have imposed sanctions, the European Union has targeted £124 billion in assets.
“Yes, there are specific issues relating to individuals that we are dealing with through the emergency law which comes into effect next week and we will be able to sanction all individuals he refers to, but it is not correct to say the UK was not leading the case, we have pushed that.”
Ukraine Crisis: British Anti-EU Attempts to Foil Russian Invasion and Defeat Putin
What aid has the UK provided to Ukraine?
Bilateral UK aid to support Ukraine totals over £400m, and the government will match public donations to the Ukraine Emergency Committee with an appeal of up to £25m.
The government said there has been nothing and there will be no prospect of British or NATO forces providing active military support in Ukraine itself, even though it has 1,000 soldiers on standby for humanitarian operations.
In January, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK had “made the decision to provide Ukraine with light anti-armor weapons systems”.
The government has now drawn up a six-point plan to get the international community to support Ukraine, first by mobilizing an international humanitarian coalition.
The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada formed the Ukraine International Support Group on Monday to ensure “continued assistance now and in the future” to Ukraine.
The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada established the Ukraine International Support Group on Monday
Johnson met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in London on Monday, March 7 to discuss support for Ukraine.
“While Ukrainians are resisting the Russian attack with courage and determination, the international community must assist them in their struggle in every possible way,” Johnson said at a news conference after the meeting.
To support these efforts, the UK joins our Dutch and Canadian friends today in mobilizing more practical and sustainable support for Ukraine.
“Now is the time for the Friends of Ukraine to form a coalition of military, humanitarian, economic and defense support to ensure Putin’s failure.”
On Tuesday, March 8, Johnson will receive the leaders of the V4 group, who are on the front lines of the refugee crisis – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
The UK Home Office says the UK has so far granted visas to 300 Ukrainian refugees under the new aid scheme.
Separately, the United Kingdom and Canada agreed to enhance their bilateral cooperation in areas such as security and defence.
What aid has the European Union given to Ukraine?
In January, the UK was among a handful of European countries that sent defense aid to Ukraine, and more than 25 countries have now joined the effort.
For the first time in its history, the European Union funds the purchase and supply of arms to a third country through the European Peace Facility, and the transfer of lethal weapons worth 450 million euros to Ukraine.
The European Commission has announced an additional €90m (£74m) in emergency aid programs as part of the UN emergency appeal to help civilians affected by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The funding will help people in Ukraine and Moldova who provide humanitarian aid and have already provided eight million in basic medical care and civil protection.
On 1 March, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced additional EU funding of €500m (£415m) in response to the humanitarian impact of the crisis.
European countries and the United States sent military supplies to Ukraine
In addition to economic aid, Germany is supplying Ukraine with 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles from the Bundeswehr inventory – in violation of Berlin’s longstanding policy of banning arms exports to the conflict zone.
On February 26, two days after the invasion began, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point. It is our duty to do everything we can to support Ukraine in its defense against Putin’s invading army.”
Countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Portugal, and Greece sent defense weapons and supplies.
In addition to sending military supplies, Romania offers to treat wounded civilians in 11 military hospitals.
The United Nations says that of the nearly two million people who have fled Ukraine, neighboring Poland has hosted the largest number of refugees, with an estimated 1,204,000.
What aid has the United States given to Ukraine?
The US announced an additional $350m (£266m) in military aid to Ukraine, bringing total security assistance to Ukraine to $1bn (£761m) last year.
“This package includes more lethal defense assistance to help Ukraine deal with the armored, airborne and other threats it now faces,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.
What is NATO’s position on Russia?
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