UK 'Investigating' Sending Jets To Ukraine After Zelenskyy Plea
No.10 was keen to stress that any potential move to send jets would not happen immediately.
The UK is investigating the possibility of sending jets to Ukraine after president Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a direct appeal for help.
Downing Street said Rishi Sunak has asked the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, to explore what could be provided — but stressed it would not happen immediately.
The development comes just hours after Zelenskyy gave a historic address to the UK parliament while on a surprise visit.
In his speech in Westminster Hall, Zelenskyy thanked the UK for its steadfast support for his country but gave a clear message: “I appeal to you and the world with simple and yet most important words: combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”
Earlier, Sunak announced plans to train Ukrainian pilots, paving the way for them to eventually fly Nato-standard jets.
Foreign secretary James Cleverly also announced a fresh round of sanctions against the Russian military and some figures close to Vladimir Putin.
No.10 was keen to stress that any potential move to send jets would not happen immediately and was part of the UK’s long-term efforts to support Ukraine.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister has tasked the defence secretary with investigating what jets we might be able to give but to be clear, this is a long-term solution, rather than a short-term capability, which is what Ukraine needs most now.”
The UK has already sent 14 Challenge 2 tanks to Ukraine, while Germany finally sent 14 Leopard 2 tanks after weeks of hesitation.
Kyiv was then quick to call for jets to update its own aging fleet.
The West has previously been hesitant to discuss sending jets to Ukraine, over fears it could lead to escalation and provoke Russia further.
Downing Street’s most recent remarks could mark the start of a shift in attitude in the West.