UK Foreign Secretary responds to Johnson attack on ‘slow’ aid to Ukraine

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has responded to criticism from former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said that Ukraine’s military partners were delaying the delivery of military aid to Ukraine.

Cleverly acknowledged Johnson’s leadership in his interview with UK news channel Sky News on Sept. 17, and emphasized that during his tenure the United Kingdom provided Ukraine with NLAW anti-tank systems “which played such an important role in the defense of Kyiv,” as well as training Ukrainian soldiers.

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Under current UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s leadership, the UK was the first in the world to send main battle tanks, the first to announce the fighter jets pilots training, and the first to approve the transfer of long-range missiles, Cleverly said.

The UK also hosted an international conference which raised over $60 billion towards Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction. The amount of aid from the UK proves that “he (Johnson) is wrong on this issue. I often talk to Ukrainians about this. They are incredibly grateful not only for our supplies but for our leadership on this issue” Cleverly said.

Read also: Boris Johnson chastises NATO leaders for demanding ‘gratitude’ from Ukraine

Earlier, Johnson wrote a scathing column in the Spectator magazine, which he used to edit, slamming the West for going slow on providing arms to Ukraine.

“What the hell are we waiting for? There is only one thing they want from us and that is the weaponry to finish the job — and so I simply do not understand why we keep dragging our feet…” Johnson wrote.

“Why are we always so slow? How can we look these men in the eye and explain the delay?”

After his recent visit to Kyiv and Lviv, Johnson called for the transfer of portable anti-aircraft missile systems, more Storm Shadow cruise missiles, howitzers, anti-aircraft defense systems, and providing as much assistance as possible in the field of unmanned technology to Ukraine.

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