The Daily Telegraph

Truss to make Kyiv military aid pledge on New York trip

Prime Minister will use talks with world leaders in US to underscore Britain’s commitment to Ukraine

- By Daniel Martin DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR in New York

LIZ TRUSS will this week promise to maintain spending on military aid to Ukraine as she embarks on her first overseas visit as Prime Minister.

Ms Truss will use her trip to New York to announce that next year Britain will match or exceed the amount of money sent to Kyiv in 2022.

On a visit to the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister will tell leaders that the West must put an end to Vladimir Putin’s economic blackmail by removing all energy dependence on Russia.

She will meet President Joe Biden as well as France’s president Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, as political action resumes after the period of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

Ms Truss is expected to return from New York on Thursday, a day before her Chancellor unveils his mini-budget.

In a statement to Parliament, Kwasi Kwarteng will confirm a cut to National Insurance, expected to come into force as early as November. He is also expected to formally scrap a planned rise in corporatio­n tax, and lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

Ms Truss said: “Ukraine’s victories in recent weeks have been inspiratio­nal.

“Time and again, these brave people have defied the doubters and showed what they can do when given the military, economic and political support they need.

“My message to the people of Ukraine is this: the UK will continue to be right behind you every step of the way. Your security is our security.”

The Prime Minister will use her UN speech to underscore Britain’s longterm commitment to Ukraine. Britain is already the second largest military donor to Kyiv, committing £2.3billion this year. The UK has also trained 27,000 members of the Ukrainian armed forces since 2015 and, in the past year, has provided hundreds of rockets, five air defence systems, 120 armoured vehicles and more than 200,000 pieces of non-lethal military equipment.

The precise nature of UK military support next year is not yet known but it is expected to include equipment such as the multiple rocket launcher system, already provided to Ukraine by Britain and others, which has been decisive in allowing Ukrainian troops to regain more than 1,100 square miles of territory this month.

Ms Truss will use meetings with other world leaders to spur on global efforts to stop Russia from capitalisi­ng on its existing exports. She said: “Too many lives – in Ukraine, in Europe and around the world – are being manipulate­d by a dependence on Russian energy. We need to work together to end this once and for all.”

Ms Truss hopes the focus will be

‘The UK will continue to be right behind Ukraine every step of the way. Your security is our security’

largely on energy security and combating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but clashes with the European Union over the Northern Ireland Protocol are bound to feature.

Mr Biden, who has a proud Irish heritage, has raised concerns about the threat Brexit poses to the peace process and has downplayed the chances of striking a free-trade deal with the United States.

Mr Macron, has long been a hawk over Brexit and has been firm in pressing the UK to keep to commitment­s on Northern Ireland and on fishing rights.

Ms Truss will meet Mr Macron today, before seeing Mr Biden tomorrow.

The trip kicks off a frantic few days of political action in Ms Truss’s fledgling premiershi­p with the details on how businesses will be helped through the energy crisis and a major announceme­nt on the NHS also billed.

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