PM to meet leaders on Europe’s northern border to bolster efforts to counter Russian aggression | Popgen Tech
- The Prime Minister will meet his Nordic, Baltic and Dutch counterparts today at the second in-person Joint Expeditionary Force leaders’ meeting in Riga
- He will call on the group to maintain their strong military support for Ukraine in 2023, and announce a major new artillery package
- The Prime Minister will then travel to Estonia to meet British troops and sign a new technology partnership with Estonia to strengthen digital ties
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to Latvia today [Monday] to discuss ongoing efforts to counter Russian aggression in the Nordic and Baltic region with his Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) counterparts.
The JEF brings together ten like-minded nations that share a commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as a long history of shared military operations.
Recognizing the regional challenges facing the Nordic and Baltic countries, including Russia’s continued aggression, the Prime Minister will call on leaders at JEF to maintain or exceed 2022 levels of support for Ukraine in 2023 by continued lethal aid, economic resilience and political support.
His call will come as the UK announces it will supply hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition next year, under a £250 million contract that will ensure a steady flow of critical artillery ammunition to Ukraine through 2023.
The UK is already Europe’s leading provider of defense aid to Ukraine, including sending Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and recently 125 anti-aircraft guns. We have also provided more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition since February, with the deliveries directly linked to successful operations to retake territory in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister personally updated President Zelenskyy on the new support last week, which will form part of the UK’s 2023 package of defense aid.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
From the Arctic Circle to the Isle of Wight, the UK and our European allies have been steadfast in our response to the invasion of Ukraine, and we remain steadfast in our ambition for peace in Europe.
But to achieve peace, we must deter aggression and our deployment across the region together is essential to ensure we are able to respond to the most serious threats.
I know this Joint Expeditionary Force summit will only underline our close friendships and unwavering support for Ukraine.
The JEF meeting, which brings together the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom, will also be addressed by President Zelenksyy.
At the summit, the leaders will discuss the defense capabilities needed by the Ukrainian forces, including further air defense. They are also expected to accelerate cooperation between JEF countries, strengthen intelligence sharing, strengthen defenses against hybrid threats and protect critical national infrastructure. As part of that increased cooperation, they will also discuss support to Finland and Sweden ahead of their accession to NATO, and scaling up joint exercises to further strengthen the JEF alliance.
Following the JEF summit, the Prime Minister will meet newly re-appointed Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, underlining the close partnership between the two countries, before traveling to Estonia, where he will meet UK and NATO troops stationed on NATO service on its eastern flank.
He will also sign a new innovative technology partnership with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas. The joint partnership is set to leverage the shared expertise between the two countries, helping both the UK and Estonia to strengthen technology ties and support new digital infrastructure.
The agreement will see both countries accelerate digital research and innovation and strengthen cooperation on health, education, cyber security, data and connectivity.