PM to meet leaders on Europe’s northern frontier to strengthen efforts to counter Russian aggression

  • The Prime Minister will meet his Nordic, Baltic and Dutch counterparts at the Second Leader of the Joint Expeditionary Force meeting in Riga today
  • He will call on the group to maintain its strong military support for Ukraine in 2023, and to announce a major new artillery package
  • The Prime Minister will then travel to Estonia to meet UK troops and sign a new technology partnership with Estonia to strengthen digital ties

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is scheduled to travel to Latvia today [Monday] Discuss ongoing efforts to counter Russian aggression in the Nordic and Baltic regions with his Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) counterparts.

The JEF brings together ten like-minded countries that share a commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as a long history of joint military operations.

Recognizing the regional challenges facing the Nordic and Baltic states, including Russia’s continued aggression, the Prime Minister will call on JEF leaders to maintain or exceed 2022 levels of support for Ukraine in 2023 through continued lethal aid, economic resilience and political backing.

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His call will come as Britain announces it will supply hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition next year, under a £250 million contract that will ensure a steady flow of critical artillery ammunition to Ukraine through 2023.

Britain is already Europe’s leading supplier of defense aid to Ukraine, including sending multiple launch rocket systems and, more recently, 125 anti-aircraft guns. We have also delivered more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition since February, with shipments directly tied to successful operations to retake territory in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister personally briefed President Zelensky on the new support last week, which will form part of the UK’s 2023 package of defense assistance.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

From the Arctic Circle to the Isle of Wight, Britain and our European allies have been locked in our response to the invasion of Ukraine, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of peace in Europe once again.

But to achieve peace, we must deter aggression and our deployment across the region together is essential to ensure we are able to respond to the most serious threats.

I know this Joint Expeditionary Force summit will only underscore our close friendship and unwavering support for Ukraine.

The JEF meeting, which brings together the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom, will also be chaired by President Zelancsi.

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At the summit, the leaders will discuss the defense capabilities necessary for Ukrainian forces, including additional air defense. They are also expected to accelerate cooperation among JEF nations, strengthen intelligence sharing, strengthen defenses to hybrid threats, and protect critical national infrastructure. As part of this increased cooperation, they will also discuss supporting Finland and Sweden towards joining NATO, and increasing joint exercises to further strengthen the JEF alliance.

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After the JEF summit, the Prime Minister will meet re-appointed Latvian Prime Minister Krishannis Krish, underscoring the close partnership between the two countries, before continuing to Estonia, where he will meet UK and NATO troops serving on NATO’s eastern flank.

He will also sign a new innovative technology partnership with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas. The joint partnership should harness the shared expertise between the two countries, helping both the UK and Estonia strengthen technology ties and support a new digital infrastructure.

The agreement will see the two countries accelerate research and digital innovation, and strengthen cooperation between health, education, cyber security, data and connectivity.

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