UK defense minister: We're not going anywhere Mr Putin

Minister of Defense Ben Wallace at Tapa Military Base on January 19, 2023.
Minister of Defense Ben Wallace at Tapa Military Base on January 19, 2023. Source: Ministry of Defense.

Western countries will not get bored and stop supporting Ukraine, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a speech at the Tapa military base on Thursday.

The minister said Putin assumed Ukrainians would not fight when he launched the full-scale invasion, that victory would be swift and the international community would not remain united.

But none of this had turned out to be true.

"2023 is about demonstrating to Putin that the international community is more than ever determined to stand by Ukraine, to see it through," Wallace said to reporters.

"If President Putin is banking on us getting bored this year, he is wrong. We will plan for this year, and next year, and the year after and beyond. We are in it for the long haul."

The minister also pledged an additional 600 Brimstone missiles to Ukraine.

"We're not going anywhere Mr Putin. We're here for the long-haul. We're standing by Ukraine. You need to recalculate. You need to make a change. You need to leave Ukraine and return it to its sovereign borders and uphold the international law that you say you respect," he said.

Wallace said it is important ministers met in Estonia as other countries bordering Russia should not be forgotten about.

On Thursday, representatives from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Demark met at Tapa to discuss support for Ukraine ahead of tomorrow's meeting in Ramstein, Germany.


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Editor: Mait Ots, Helen Wright

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