Conservative MPs urge increase in UK military aid for Ukraine

Conservative MPs have called for the UK to increase military aid to Ukraine, including the former cabinet minister David Davis, who said the UK should consider providing air support to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Boris Johnson said western allies “will agree a massive package of economic sanctions designed in time to hobble the Russian economy” – expected to be outlined to House of Commons at 5pm on Thursday.

But Davis said that even the most “ferocious sanctions … are no longer a deterrent, they are a punishment” and that the invasion of Ukraine meant Vladimir Putin had “effectively declared war on the west”.

Davis tweeted: “Therefore if we do not provide military support, more than 40 million Ukrainians will go from living in a democracy to living under a brutal dictatorship.

“It is far too late to get boots on the ground, but it is not too late to provide air support to the Ukrainian army, which may neutralise Putin’s overwhelming armoured superiority.”

Davis said the air support should be confined to the airspace over Ukraine, and based on a request from Ukraine’s president, saying this “should be perfectly legal under almost any interpretation of international law”.

He added: “There are no zero-risk options. If we do not act militarily, then Nato will be significantly weakened and we must fear for the safety of every state that borders Russia.”

Tobias Ellwood, the chair of the defence select committee, said a Nato division should have been stationed in Ukraine as a deterrent. Ukraine is not a Nato member, but has requested membership.

“If Kyiv falls, history will ask why the west didn’t do more?” Ellwood told the BBC.

“Six months ago I called for a division, a Nato division, to be moved into Ukraine. That is what Ukrainians were requesting, and that would have deterred this invasion.

Russia declares war on Ukraine: what we know so far – video report
Russia declares war on Ukraine: what we know so far – video report

“That would have been enough to make Putin think twice. But we didn’t…

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