Western countries pledge financial support to Ukraine

Western countries agreed on Thursday to continue long-term funding to help Ukraine’s military keep fighting after Russia invaded its neighbor, saying 1.5 billion euros ($1.2 billion pounds sterling) have been pledged so far and more are to come.

The money is intended to improve the production of armaments, including artillery and ammunition; develop and strengthen the training of Ukrainian soldiers and support Ukraine’s efforts to demine areas.

“All the countries that came to Copenhagen came with the intention of supporting Ukraine,” Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov said at the end of the day-long meeting of the 26 nations and the ‘European Union.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the meeting proved that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambition (for the West to lose its will to support Ukraine) “has failed”.

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British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace at the Ukraine conference in Copenhagen (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AP/PA)

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace at the Ukraine conference in Copenhagen (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AP/PA)

“We are still determined,” Mr. Wallace said.

The 1.5 billion euros included donations from the UK, Denmark and Norway, but “it will increase”, Mr Bodskov said, adding that “some countries have to go home and get support from their parliaments”.

Mr Bodskov said “money alone won’t do, as you say, we need to increase productions”.

He thanked Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic for signaling a “willingness to increase the production of artillery systems, ammunition and other equipment”.

At the conference, Norway said it would help train Ukrainian troops in Britain. Sweden and Finland announced earlier that they would do the same. Iceland will help demining efforts in Ukraine “by training trainers”, its foreign minister said.

Our continued support sends a very clear message that Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war.Ben Wallace

In a live stream, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western countries to provide more money, saying “the sooner we stop Russia, the sooner we can feel safe.”

“We need armaments, ammunition for our defence,” he said.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who attended the conference, declined to give details of the weapons his country will receive.

The conference, co-hosted by Denmark, Britain and Ukraine, follows an April meeting at a US air base in Germany that established the US-led Ukrainian Defense Contact Group , which coordinates international military support to Ukraine.

Britain has announced that it will send more multiple launch rocket systems and guided missiles to Ukraine to help it resist the Russian invasion.

The new weapons, the number of which was not specified, come on top of several rocket launchers it donated to Ukraine earlier this year. Ukrainian troops were trained in Britain to use them.

“Our continued support sends a very clear message that Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand side by side, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help defend against the Putin’s invasion,” Wallace said.

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Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov gestures during the closing press conference after a donors conference for Ukraine at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AP/PA)


Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov gestures during the closing press conference after a donors conference for Ukraine at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AP/PA)

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov gestures during the closing press conference after a donors conference for Ukraine at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AP/PA)

Ahead of the conference, Denmark said it would give Ukraine an additional 820m crowns (£92m), bringing Denmark’s total contribution to more than 3bn crowns. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called it a “huge donation”.

Part of the money will be used to pay 130 Danish soldiers to help train Ukrainian forces in Britain.

Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said Western support for Ukraine remained unwavering.

“It is decisive for Ukraine to be able to defend itself against the Russian attack,” Mr. Arild Gram said.

The Kyiv School of Economics released a report on Wednesday putting the cost of war damage to Ukrainian infrastructure at more than $110bn (£90bn). The report says 304 bridges and more than 900 health care facilities were destroyed or damaged.

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