UK supplying anti-tank weapons to Ukraine ‘strictly for self-defense’
The United Kingdom is supplying weapons to Ukraine to strengthen its defense capabilities in light of a potential Russian invasion, the Reuters news agency reported on Jan. 17, quoting U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
The defensive weapons were described as primarily light anti-tank weapons.
"We have taken the decision to supply Ukraine with light anti-armor defensive weapon systems," Wallace said earlier in the U.K. parliament.
The defense secretary noted that the weapons to be supplied to Ukraine were not strategic and posed no threat to Russia, saying they are to be used strictly in self-defense. However, according to Wallace, “…it would make people pause and think what they were doing.”
Wallace also added that he had invited Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to visit London in the coming weeks to discuss the current crisis.
Currently, over 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports Ukrainian intelligence.
Fears of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late October when Russian troops began building up on the Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories.
The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both United States and European Union officials. According to U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House is looking at a range of options to dissuade Russia from a potential attack on Ukraine.
Biden has defined these measures as “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people believe he may do.”
The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, previously stated that the Ukrainian government deemed the threat of a direct Russian invasion unlikely.
However, in early December, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Russian aggression towards Ukraine could intensify in late January 2022.
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