Rishi Sunak has promised that “nothing is off the table” when asked if the UK will send fighter jets to Ukraine.
The Prime Minister made the remark during a joint press conference with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, just hours after he used a historic address to Parliament to call on Britain to send planes to help Ukraine defeat Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Mr Sunak was speaking at a press conference at the military base of Lulworth Camp in Dorset, where the leaders met Ukrainian troops being trained by the British Army.
Asked if he could provide clarity on whether Ukraine will get fighter jets from the UK, Mr Sunak said the UK’s “been very clear when it comes to the provision of military assistance to Ukraine and nothing is off the table”.
“When it comes to fighter combat air force, of course they are part of the conversation,” he continued. That is why we announced today that we will train the Ukrainian air force on NATO platforms.”
Downing Street previously stated that the government was looking into the possibility of supplying British fighter jets to Ukraine.
According to the Prime Minister’s official spokesman, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is now “actively considering” whether the planes can be sent to assist in the war against Russia.
Downing Street’s comments came after Mr Zelensky flew to Britain to make an impassioned plea for UK fighter jets urging the Prime Minister to give us “wings for freedom”.
In a powerful speech in Westminster Hall on Wednesday, the Ukrainian President told MPs and peers: “We know freedom will win. We know Russia will lose.”
However, in a direct appeal to Britain and other Western allies, he stated that his country now required advanced combat planes to assist Ukraine in defeating Vladimir Putin’s forces.
“I appeal to you and the world with simple but crucial words: combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom,” he said.