Rishi Sunak DATE 19122022 CREDIT Alamy .jpg
The PM will also meet Nato troops in Estonia (Picture: Alamy).

PM to meet Nato allies on Baltic trip to stand firm in support for Ukraine

Rishi Sunak DATE 19122022 CREDIT Alamy .jpg
The PM will also meet Nato troops in Estonia (Picture: Alamy).

The Prime Minister is making a trip to the Baltic region to urge fellow leaders to further support Ukraine, as he pledges a new stream of defensive aid to guard against Russian aggression.

First jetting off to a meeting of northern European allies in Latvia, Rishi Sunak will call on his counterparts to sustain or boost their current offers.

Mr Sunak will then travel to Estonia to meet British troops and sign a new technology digital partnership with the nation's prime minister.

British Army rotates troops in Estonia continuing support of NATO, Op Cabrit 23092022 CREDIT Army, MOD.jpg
The UK will be sending hundreds of thousands of artillery ammunition to support Ukraine (Picture: British Army).

The PM said: "From the Arctic Circle to the Isle of Wight, the UK and our European allies have been in lockstep in our response to the invasion of Ukraine, and we remain steadfast in our ambition for peace in Europe once again.

"But to achieve peace, we must deter aggression and our deployments across the region together are vital in ensuring we are able to respond to the gravest of threats.

"I know this Joint Expeditionary Force summit will only underline our close friendships and unwavering support for Ukraine," he added.

It comes as the UK has announced a fresh supply of hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition as part of its package of defensive aid for 2023, under a £250m contract.

Watch: What is the Joint Expeditionary Force?

In response to the PM's pledge, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said: "Artillery has been critical to Ukraine's ability to push back Putin's invasion, so this longer-term commitment to ensure a constant flow of ammunition is important and welcome.

"Minsters must now place contracts to restock other weapons needed for the British Army and to support Ukraine as part of the full Ukraine plan that they promised 4 months ago.

"The government will continue to have Labour's fullest support for military help to Ukraine for as long as it takes."

At the meeting in Riga on Monday, the members of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) are expected to discuss Ukraine's defence needs while seeking to accelerate their own co-operation.

Following the gathering, which will be addressed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr Sunak will meet Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins.

In Estonia, he will meet UK and Nato troops serving on the alliance's eastern flank.

The new digital partnership, which Mr Sunak will sign with Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas, will see the countries strengthen ties across health, education, cyber security, data and connectivity.

The JEF alliance includes Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.

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