The memory of World War II and Europe’s obligation to Ukraine | Opinion

This Sunday, May 8, we commemorate the anniversary of the end of the worst war we have suffered in Europe. Since then, together, around the world, we have dedicated ourselves to peace and stability and to the principle that we should never again suffer such horrors. With its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Russia has shattered that pact.

Heinous crimes are being perpetrated that we thought had been consigned to history. Evidence is mounting of cold-blooded murders of innocent civilians, rapes of women in front of their children, and orphans forcibly deported by Russian troops. And they are doing it with the disgusting baseless claim that they are “denazifying” Ukraine.

The Ukrainian people are being subjected to this barbarism because they want to live freely, controlling their own future. The UK stands united with our NATO allies and our G7 partners in our determination to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.

In this dark hour, we all have a moral and strategic imperative to support Ukraine without hesitation. We cannot allow Putin’s vanity to prolong this senseless war.

Putin hoped to conquer Ukraine quickly, but victory is still eluding him three months later. This shows how much he underestimated the will of the Ukrainian people. He has been shocked by the strength of the Ukrainian resistance and the free world that has come together to end his terrible war. He will not break the Ukrainians.

But this is no time for complacency. Putin has launched a new offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine in his desperation to gain the upper hand in the war. Innocent people are paying the price for their continued savagery in cities like Mariupol.

At this defining moment, the UK prides itself on taking a realistic approach, based on military strength, economic security and deeper global alliances.

We were one of the first European countries to send weapons. Our supplies, from anti-tank weapons to armored fighting vehicles, have helped Ukraine stem the Russian advance. We are replenishing the stocks of other countries to maintain the supply of weapons, for example, offering to carry tanks Challenger 2 British to Poland.

We are also making sure that Putin’s aggression is contained. That is why we have doubled the number of our troops in Estonia and Poland as part of NATO’s eastern flank reinforcement. By doing so, we are strengthening our support for those living in the shadow of Russian aggression.

We have used every economic lever at our disposal to starve Putin’s war machine of funds. The UK has sanctioned more people and organizations than any other country and has taken decisive trade action, banning high-tech exports.

We have worked in unison with our G7 partners to increase pressure on the Putin regime through tough sanctions. At the same time, we have stepped up our support for Ukraine’s economy, and have been at the forefront of removing all import tariffs.

In total, the UK is providing an overall $2 billion humanitarian, economic and military support package. In addition, we are helping those who are suffering the consequences of Russian actions. We’ve secured $170 billion at the World Bank to help low-income countries cope with rising food and energy prices.

We are in talks to create a broad global coalition in defense of sovereignty and the rule of law. The UK has worked in unison with other countries, such as Spain, to denounce the appalling actions of the Putin regime at the UN, spearheading the charge to expel Russia from the Human Rights Council. We are working with our international partners and allies to strengthen NATO so that it is outward-oriented, flexible and able to address European security threats.

To protect our security we have to look beyond Europe. That is why the UK is deepening defense cooperation with allies such as Japan, India and Australia to protect the Indo-Pacific region. We should help people to defend themselves against aggression and malign activity anywhere in the world, be it in the Western Balkans, Moldova or Taiwan.

The aggressors and autocrats are watching what is happening in Ukraine and we must make sure they get the right message: we will never hesitate to uphold sovereignty and the rule of law. Never again can we allow a sovereign democracy to be threatened in this way.

No matter how long it takes, we are determined that Ukraine will prevail with its sovereignty restored. Together with our allies, we can win the new era of peace, security and prosperity.

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