The UK will provide Ukraine with air defence missiles and attack drones, Downing Street has announced, as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Chequers.
In the latest leg of the Ukrainian president's tour of Western allies, Mr Zelensky, who arrived in Buckinghamshire on an RAF Chinook, said the two leaders discussed Western fighter jets and expected "very important decisions" to be made soon.
Following the meeting, Mr Zelensky told broadcasters he wants to create a "jet coalition", while Mr Sunak said the UK will be ready to help train Ukrainian pilots to use Western fighter jets "relatively soon".
Mr Sunak said the provision of warplanes was "not straightforward" but that Britain will play a "key part" in a coalition of countries giving that support to the war-torn nation.
He said: "We are going to be a key part of the coalition of countries that provides that support to Volodymyr and Ukraine.
"It is not a straightforward thing, as Volodymyr and I have been discussing, to build up that fighter combat aircraft capability.
"It's not just the provision of planes, it's also the training of pilots and all the logistics that go alongside that and the UK can play a big part in that.
"One thing we will be doing, starting actually relatively soon, is training of Ukrainian pilots and that’s something we've discussed today and we're ready to implement those plans in relatively short order."
UK's flying school for Ukrainian pilots
Number 10 said an elementary flying phase for cohorts of Ukrainian pilots will begin this summer, going hand in hand with British efforts to work with other countries on providing F-16 jets – an aircraft not used by the UK military.
Mr Sunak said: "This is a crucial moment in Ukraine's resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke.
"They need the sustained support of the international community to defend against the barrage of unrelenting and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year.
"We must not let them down."
Ukraine and UK are 'real partners' – Zelensky
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Zelensky told broadcasters: "Today we spoke about the jets. Very important topic for us because we can't control the sky."
He said Ukraine and the UK were "real partners", with Mr Sunak knowing details of developments on the battlefield.
"We want to create this jets coalition and I'm very positive with it," he said.
"We spoke about it and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some, I think, very important decisions, but we have to work a little bit more on it."
Following Mr Zelensky's meetings in Paris, Berlin and Rome, this visit comes three months after his first trip to London since the start of the war.
Ahead of meeting Mr Sunak, Mr Zelensky tweeted: "Today – London. The UK is a leader when it comes to expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air.
"This co-operation will continue today. I will meet my friend Rishi. We will conduct substantive negotiations face to face and in delegations."
The latest visit comes days after Liverpool hosted Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine, amid ongoing British support for the country's fight against Russia.
Latest UK military support to Ukraine
The latest package of military assistance will see hundreds of air defence missiles and further unmanned aerial systems including long-range attack drones with a range of more than 200km (124 miles).
The kit will be delivered over the coming months.
The UK has already delivered equipment to Ukraine, so far this year including a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks, self-propelled guns and hundreds of armoured vehicles.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the UK has trained 15,000 Ukrainian troops in the UK for battlefield readiness, on top of the 22,000 troops trained in Ukraine between 2014 and 2022 under Operation Orbital.
The UK provided £2.3bn worth of military support to Ukraine in 2022, and Mr Sunak has committed to sustaining that level of support this year.