Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas hosts Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Tallinn, January 11, 2024

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Map: Institute for the Study of War


The UK has signed a security treaty with Ukraine and pledged £2.5 billion ($3.19 billion) in military aid.

The commitments were made during a visit by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Kyiv. He met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and addressed the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

Under the treaty, London promises “swift and sustained” help if Russia attacks Ukraine again.

Zelenskiy hailed the agreement, which remains in force until Ukraine joins NATO:

The military aid includes thousands of shells, long-range missiles, and training for the Ukrainian military. At least £200 million ($255 million) will be spent on hi-tech combat drones, most of which will be made in the UK. They include long-range strike drones, capable of hitting Russian targets far beyond the frontline, and maritime drones which are being used successfully by Ukraine against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Former Ukraine Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk noted the UK commitments were a “big deal…particularly given the freeze we currently see from the US,” where Republicans in Congress are blocking further budgetary authority to aid Kyiv.

Zagorodnyuk added that it was part of a pattern of British assistance during Russia’s 22 1/2-month invasion, including tanks and encouragement of the supply of US-made fighters.

He said of Friday’s announcement, “It’s hugely appreciated. It’s extremely important because this war is more and more about UAVs. They play a critical role.”

Yuriy Sak, an advisor to Ukraine’s strategic industries ministry, echoed that the UK aid “could not have come at a more appropriate moment”, as it “sent the right signal” to Kyiv’s partners.

At the press conference alongside Sunak, Zelenskiy said of American support, “I am viewing this with more positivity than in December, I think we will [get it].”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The Baltic States — Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia — have put on a show of political, economic, and military support for Ukraine during President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s two-day tour of the three countries.

Having visited Lithuania’s capital Vilnius on Wednesday, Zelenskiy had discussions in Estonia’s Tallinn and then Latvia’s Riga on Thursday. Topics included security; European Union and NATO integration including Ukrainian membership; cooperation on electronic warfare, drones, and cyber-security; and artillery and IT coalitions.

In contrast to the blockade of European Union assistance by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin, and the blackmail by Republicans in the US Congress over further aid to Kyiv, each of the three Baltic States made substantial commitments.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda announced a €200 million ($219 million) package of long-term military assistance, including M577 armored personnel carriers, ammunition, generators, and detonation systems.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas pledged 0.25% of its GDP over the next four years for military aid to Kyiv. Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs promised howitzers, 155mm ammunition, anti-tank weapons, missiles, grenades, helicopters, drones, communication devices, generators, and equipment.

“Support For As Long As Necessary”

In Estonia, Zelenskiy ruled out a ceasefire leaving Russia in occupation of parts of Ukraine.

“A pause on the Ukrainian battlefield will not mean a pause in the war,” he said. “A pause would play into [Russia’s] hands. It might crush us afterward.”

Wearing a shirt with the Estonian word “Kaitsetahe” (“The will to defend”), given to him by Prime Minister Kallas, Zelenskiy told the Estonian Parliament, “Tyranny must be defeated. Tyranny must be a loser. Always. Always. Always.”

Kallas posted on social media:

She continued:

We believe in Ukraine, which is a country with liberal democracy and a free market economy and will become a member of the European Union and NATO.

These are crucial times. We need to keep our focus. Estonia supports Ukraine for as long as necessary and as much as necessary for victory.

If we let aggression pay off, we will all find ourselves in a much more dangerous world.

Russia wants to destroy the unity of the free world.

But we are stronger than Russia. The combined military, economic and political power of the free world can ensure Ukraine’s victory.

The stronger Ukraine is, the faster the breaking point arrives for Russia.