Keir’s first warning shot to Putin during tense Nato summit

Keir’s first warning shot to Putin during tense Nato summit

Ukraine’s Western allies are scrapping together parts for air defence missiles to deter Putin (Picture: AFP)

Sir Keir Starmer is not messing about in his support for Ukraine. Particularly after Russia’s bombing of a children’s hospital in Kyiv, with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.

In his first jab to Vladimir Putin, Britain’s new prime minister signaled that Ukraine can use Storm Shadows – precision-guided cruise missiles with a range of at least 155 miles – to strike military targets inside enemy territory.

He stressed that the weapons must be deployed ‘in accordance with international humanitarian law’ and for ‘defensive purposes’.

But Sir Keir added: ‘It is for Ukraine to decide how to deploy it for those defensive purposes.’ 

The deployment of Western long-range arms on Russia has been a divisive issue among Volodymyr Zelensky’s international allies.

Rishi Sunak had recently lifted the embargo for Ukraine, and the new PM has now signalled that he will continue wit the established policy.

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Sir Keir made the comments to a Bloomberg reporter last night while en route to Washington where the Nato summit is currently taking place.

The centrepiece of the event is expected to be new commitments of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken said the summit would ‘further strengthen’ the war-torn country’s path to membership.

In response to Russia’s assault on the hospital in Kyiv, leaders of the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Romania and the US are scraping together a defence package to Ukraine.

President Joe Biden has promised that five Western air defence systems will soon be delivered.

What is the new aid package to Ukraine

At least four of the powerful Patriot air defence systems
Dozens of other tactical air defence systems and hundreds of munitions for them
The US, Germany and Romania will send Ukraine additional Patriot batteries
The Netherlands and others will provide Patriot components to make up one more battery
Italy will send a SAMP-T air defence system
Other allies will provide a number of other systems, including NASAMS, HAWKs, IRIS T-SLM, IRIS T-SLS and Gepards

Meanwhile, Romania has pledged to give one of its systems, after commitments from Germany and Italy.

Patriot components will also be donated by the Netherlands and other partners to enable the operation of an additional Patriot battery.

A joint statement published by the White House said: ‘We are providing Ukraine with additional strategic air defense systems, including additional Patriot batteries donated by the United States, Germany, and Romania; Patriot components donated by the Netherlands and other partners to enable the operation of an additional Patriot battery; and an additional SAMP-T system donated by Italy.’

President Zelensky, who is due to meet with Biden on Thursday, has stressed that he needs a minimum of seven Patriot systems.

‘We are fighting for additional security guarantees for Ukraine – and these are weapons and finances, political support,’ he said on social media.

Ukraine ultimately wants to join Nato to ward against further future attacks by Russia but candidates have to be approved by all of the alliance’s members, some of which are wary of provoking a direct conflict with Russia.

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