The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, travelled to Kyiv the other week to meet President Zelensky and to address the Ukrainian parliament. The Prime Minister was unequivocal about the UK’s unwavering support and said that we will stand with Ukraine until Russa’s invasion comes to an end and Ukraine is built back better and stronger.

The Prime Minister was clear that if Putin wins in Ukraine, he will not stop there, and that other rogue actors could be encouraged to act in similar vein. That is why Ukraine’s security is our security.

Following the Prime Minister’s visit, Mr Sunak also confirmed that the UK’s military support to Ukraine will continue to increase this year. The UK will provide the biggest single package of defence aid to Ukraine since the war began, worth some £2.5 billion.

This package will include more air defence equipment, anti-tank weapons, long-range missiles, thousands more rounds of ammunition and artillery shells, training for thousands more Ukrainian military personnel, and the single largest agreement re advanced drones given to Ukraine by any nation. This is in addition to the huge amount of support already provided to assist Ukraine.

Here in Woking, we have welcomed more than 250 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the UK under the resettlement scheme. We have done our best to help Ukrainians who have fled the war and we will continue to show solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people by offering essential humanitarian assistance. 

I have met many of the individuals who have found refuge in Woking and our villages, and it has been a true privilege to hear their stories and to witness their resilience.

I had the honour of attending and speaking at Woking’s “Stand With Ukraine” gathering in Jubilee Square last year, marking the anniversary of the illegal invasion of Ukraine and the dreadful year of conflict and hardship that had ensued. It was an extremely moving occasion.

We continue to give thanks to those local families who welcomed Ukrainian refugees into their homes. We also give thanks and pay tribute to all the voluntary efforts of our charities, churches and mosques and to all those wonderful volunteers who have come forward to help.

I know that, in particular, the regular meetings and gatherings at The Lighthouse on High Street continue to give vital support and advice to our Ukrainian refugees.

In total, since the war began, the United Kingdom will have provided almost £12 billion of aid to Ukraine. 

The UK was the first country to train Ukrainian troops, the first in Europe to provide lethal weapons, the first to commit main battle tanks, the first to provide long-range missiles, and now we are the first to keep the promise made at last year’s Nato summit, alongside 30 other countries, to provide new bilateral security commitments.

The UK recently marked the occasion of the 30,000th Ukrainian soldier to be trained under Operation Interflex, the largest military training programme of its kind on British soil since the Second World War. The programme has proved game-changing for Ukraine’s forces.

We must remain resolute in our commitment to Ukraine and to our security at home and worldwide.