Defence Secretary reaffirms European security commitment
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has met with defence counterparts in Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia to strengthen the Allied response to tensions on Ukraine's border with Russia
His meetings follow on from a series of diplomatic talks last week in The Hague, Brussels and Germany where concerns over the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine were raised.
The Defence Secretary held meetings with his counterpart Defence Minister Mario Banožić in Zagreb, Croatia, where he signed a new Strategic Partnership Commitment (SPC). The SPC builds on the Memorandum of Understanding agreed five years ago, and comes as the UK and Croatia celebrate 39 years of diplomatic relations. The Defence Secretary also met Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Zagreb for talks about our nations’ shared approach as NATO Allies to stand up for the sovereignty of Ukraine.
Wallace said: “In Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia this week I have met with my defence counterparts and NATO Allies to discuss ways to strengthen European security and reaffirm our resolve to support the sovereignty of Ukraine. We now need to see continued dialogue and de-escalation and an end to the build-up of Russian forces on the border of Ukraine. An invasion will be met with severe consequences.”
Prime Minster Boris Johnson travelled to Ukraine on 1 February for talks with President Zelenskyy as the UK announced £88 million of new funding to help Ukraine clamp down on corruption and reduce the nation’s reliance on Russian energy supplies.