UK’s Cameron pledges Ukraine support for ‘as long as it takes’

The United Kingdom will continue supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” Foreign Secretary David Cameron said during a press conference with his Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani on Tuesday.

Cameron said the conflict had so far seen three “acts” — the first, Russia’s full-scale invasion and failure to take Kyiv; and the second, the efforts of Ukrainians to take back half the land Russia had captured.

“I accept that act three has been more of a stalemate on land, but it has been a huge success on the Black Sea where Russia has been pushed back. Act four is still to be written, and it’s up to us to write it,” he said.

Ukraine’s land-based counteroffensive operation, launched in June along a long frontline across the east and to the south, made much slower than expected progress ahead of the harsh winter.

The U.K. has been the second largest provider of military assistance to Ukraine during the war, pledging around £4.6 billion ($5.85 billion), government-provided figures show. The United States has provided some $46.3 billion, according to the Council of Foreign Relations.

Cameron added that Ukraine’s allies, including the U.K., Italy, Germany, France and the U.S., outranked Russia 25 to one. “We just need to make that economic strength pay and we can make sure Putin loses, and it’s essential that he does,” he said.

Italy’s cabinet on Tuesday passed a decree allowing the continued supply of “means, materials and equipment” to Ukraine in its war effort, Reuters reported. The decision now goes to parliament.

While U.S. aid now hangs in the balance, Ukraine also received a blow last week when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban blocked the approval of a 50 billion-euro ($54 billion) EU package in financial aid for the country.

— Jenni Reid

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