London: «Asharq Al-Awsat»
Defense sources said the UK Treasury had indicated there were no defense funds, despite recognizing the urgent need to rearm as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues.
The British “Sky News” network quoted the sources as saying that Britain will not be able to provide a large number of forces, as NATO members had expected for a new major force structure to be formed by the alliance to strengthen its defenses in response to the war in Ukraine.
They said that these things would not change unless the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, accelerated plans to reform the army’s deterioration.
A senior European diplomatic source confirmed that the UK was “suffering from a shortage of weapons deliveries”.
NATO’s last British secretary-general, Lord George Robertson, said he was concerned that “the government does not properly appreciate the threat that Moscow poses to it” and urged Sunak to act “like a wartime prime minister”.
Robertson added, “The prime minister must wake up and realize the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared war on the West and that we are the second military power in the West and we must now rise to the challenge we face.”
He continued, “This means taking defense and security issues more seriously than we do at the present time and investing in the right kind of equipment in order to maintain the security of the country.”
This comes after Britain and the United States confirmed in late January their intention to continue providing Ukraine with “all the weapons it needs to confront Russia.”
For his part, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in an article published yesterday (Sunday) that helping to arm Ukraine so that it can defend itself against Russia is the fastest way to achieve peace.
And a few days ago, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that the British army “lags behind its peers” and that it “needs more investment.”