Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain visited Kyiv on Friday to announce that he would send more than $3 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in the next financial year, his country’s largest annual commitment since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The new package, revealed in a statement, is part of an effort to offer reassurance amid concerns about a potential shortfall in Western support for Ukraine while badly needed military and financial aid packages remain blocked in the United States and the European Union because of political infighting.

The British aid for the coming year represents an increase of 200 million pounds, about $255 million, compared with the country’s annual commitment for the past two years. Much of the increase will go toward the production and procurement of thousands of military drones that are crucial for Ukraine. Britain will also deliver long-range missiles, air defenses and artillery ammunition.

“For two years, Ukraine has fought with great courage to repel a brutal Russian invasion. They are still fighting, unfaltering in their determination to defend their country,” Mr. Sunak said in the statement. “I am here today with one message: The U.K. will also not falter. We will stand with Ukraine, in their darkest hours and in the better times to come.”

The new support from Britain will cement London’s reputation as one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia invaded nearly two years ago. It will also help to allay Ukrainians’ fears that Western support is wavering in the face of a protracted war that has now largely stalled on land.

Mr. Sunak’s visit comes hours after the British and U.S. militaries bombed more than a dozen targets in Yemen controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi militia. The strikes could ignite a wider conflict in the Middle East over Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza and further distract the world’s attention from the fighting in Ukraine.

In an attempt to counter this turn of events, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has toured Western capitals in recent months to rally continued support for his country. On Wednesday and Thursday, he visited three Baltic States, where he urged his allies to help hold the line as Russian forces are on the offensive along much of the front, and as Moscow has launched a winter air campaign that is wearing down Ukraine’s air defenses.

Mr. Zelensky said that he was “grateful” for the Patriot missile systems that Ukraine’s allies have already delivered and that have helped his country weather the enormous Russian air assaults. But he said that Ukraine urgently needed to further reinforce its defenses if it were to withstand more air attacks.

“If Ukraine were given seven such systems today, people in Kharkiv, Kherson, and Odesa would not be dying,” Mr. Zelensky said during a news conference in Riga, Latvia’s capital, on Thursday. Without Patriots, he added, “it is impossible to survive.”

A group of people, including one in combat fatigues, walks past a damaged building in Kyiv.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain touring damaged buildings in Kyiv on Friday.Credit…Pool photo by Stefan Rousseau

The three Baltic countries that Mr. Zelensky visited — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — are some of Kyiv’s biggest backers in the war, united in their opposition to Russia by their legacy as former Soviet states. Each of them is providing Ukraine with more than 1 percent of their respective gross domestic products in aid, which is among the highest from allied countries, according to a ranking by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Still, that aid is a fraction of what larger countries, such as the United States, Britain and Germany, can offer Ukraine. Mr. Zelensky’s trip was intended to use the Baltic States’ vocal support of Kyiv to spur other, more reluctant allies to give more to Ukraine as the war drags on, said Pavlo Klimkin, a Ukrainian former foreign minister.

“There should be a sort of concerted common push by us and these countries” to get other allies to commit to more aid, Mr. Klimkin said in an interview this week. “Because this assistance is critical for us now.”

Britain’s announcement on Friday will most likely add to the pressure on other Western partners, including the United States, where Congress has repeatedly declined to pass a $50 billion security package for Ukraine. As a result, American military aid for Ukraine has now “ground to a halt” the White House said on Thursday.

Ukrainian soldiers and officials have said in recent weeks that their dearth of artillery shells has led them to scale back some military operations and that a shortage of surface-to-air missiles — a key weapon required to shoot down incoming Russian missiles — will leave them more vulnerable to air assaults.

Unlike in the United States — where support for sending more aid to Ukraine has decreased in Congress — in Britain, backing for Ukraine has hardly been questioned.

That has encouraged successive prime ministers to make supporting the war-torn country a pillar of their foreign policy. It was widely expected that Britain would commit this year to an annual aid package to Ukraine that would at least match the $2.9 billion it sent in each of the past two years.

“To all Ukrainians, Britain is with you — for as long as it takes,” Mr. Sunak said in a post on social media after he arrived in Kyiv.

His words marked a symbolic departure from those of President Biden, who last month, amid congressional inaction on more funding for Kyiv, said that his administration would support Ukraine “as long as we can.”

The British government also said in its statement that Mr. Sunak and Mr. Zelensky would sign on Friday “a historic U.K.-Ukraine agreement on security cooperation,” the first finalized bilateral agreement on security guarantees that any member of the Group of 7 nations has pledged to undertake.

“We recognize their security is our security,” Mr. Sunak said.

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