Supplying Ukraine with British tanks “wouldn’t work,” UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in an interview with The Mail, adding that the focus should be on repairing Russian and Soviet equipment, which demands less training for the Ukrainian military.
“One of the biggest challenges is that the more you go up in the sophistication of weapons systems, the more training you require to use them, which is why the real focus of effort has to be helping the Ukrainians either refurbish or locate Russian or Soviet equipment that is already in their inventory. Just providing British tanks wouldn’t really work,” Wallace said.
Britain’s Starstreak man-portable air defense systems are ready to be deployed in Ukraine, and Ukrainian troops have already been trained to use them, Wallace added.
According to the defense minister, the United Kingdom is “doing more than pretty much anyone else” to help Ukraine.
Earlier, as The EurAsian Times reported, London provided Ukraine with high-velocity anti-aircraft missile systems Starstreak along with other military aid, the UK Defence Ministry confirmed following an extraordinary meeting of NATO defense chiefs.
“During the meeting, Defense Ministers agreed to continue providing significant military supplies to Ukraine including lethal and non-lethal aid. The UK Defence Secretary highlighted that the UK would be providing Starstreak, a high-velocity anti-aircraft missile system, that complements the other military aid provided by the UK Armed Forces, including over 4,000 anti-tank missiles,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry cited Ben Wallace as saying that the UK and allies will continue to support Ukraine against Russia’s military operation.
The ministry added that it has recently doubled the number of troops in Estonia, has sent the patrolling vessel HMS Trent and the air defense destroyer HMS Diamond to the Eastern Mediterranean, and is conducting joint air policing missions in Romanian and Polish airspace to bolster its commitments in Eastern Europe.
On February 24, Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine claiming that the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces.
UK Sanctions On Russia
The United Kingdom recently announced new sanctions targeting Russia’s strategic industries, banks and businessmen, including Sberbank CEO Herman Gref and the founder of Tinkoff bank Oleg Tinkov, the Foreign Office confirmed.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has announced 65 new Russian sanctions against a range of key strategic industries and individuals, bringing the number of individuals and businesses sanctioned since the start of Russia’s operation in Ukraine to over 1,000.
“Today’s sanctions target key industries supporting Russia’s illegal invasion, including Russian Railways and defense company Kronshtadt, the main producer of Russian drones. The Wagner Group – the organization Russian mercenaries reportedly tasked with assassinating [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy – has also been sanctioned,” the foreign office said in a statement.
The new package of sanctions targets six more banks, including Alfa Bank, whose co-founders include previously sanctioned oligarchs Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan, and the world’s largest diamond producer Alrosa, according to the statement.
“Individuals sanctioned include the billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, founder of Tinkoff bank Oleg Tinkov, Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, and Polina Kovaleva, Foreign Minister Lavrov’s stepdaughter.
Galina Danilchenko, who was installed by Russia as the ‘mayor’ of Melitopol is also sanctioned – the first time an individual has been sanctioned for collaboration with Russian forces currently in Ukraine,” the statement read.
London also imposed sanctions against Lev Khasis, a prominent figure linked to Russia’s Sberbank and Rosneft deputy chairman Zeljko Runje.