LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised on Saturday in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky the supply of tanks to Ukraine as well as artillery elements.
“The Prime Minister underlined the UK’s ambition to step up our support for Ukraine, including through the provision of Challenger 2s and additional artillery systems,” a spokesman for Rishi Sunak said.
“They agreed on the need to take advantage of this moment for an acceleration of global military and diplomatic support for Ukraine,” he added.
The British media have reported for a week of discussions about the delivery to Ukraine of a dozen Challenger 2, the main battle tank of the British army.
The Prime Minister’s office said Britain intended to support Ukraine in coordination with Germany, France and the United States, which last week announced the sending of armored vehicles to Kyiv.
“The Prime Minister and President Zelensky welcomed other similar international commitments, including Poland’s offer to provide a company of Leopard tanks,” continued the spokesman for 10 Downing Street.
The Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, thanked Britain on Twitter for its “significant contribution to the defense of freedom and democracy in Europe”.
The Challenger 2 has been in service with the British Army since 1994. It has been deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq, according to the British Army.
(Report Michael Holden, French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse)