Boris Johnson has condemned Rishi Sunak’s decision not to send fighter jets to Ukraine, as he urged western leaders to ‘give them what they need’.
The former Tory prime minister suggested that it would ‘save time’ if the UK and its allies gave Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces the fighter jet aircraft they had asked for now.
‘This is not the moment to delay any support to Ukraine, this is the moment to double down on our support. Give them what they need,’ Mr Johnson told Fox News.
Asked about the UK and US decision to rule out sending fighter jets, Mr Johnson said: ‘Every time we’ve said it would be a mistake to give such and such an item of weaponry, we end up doing it and it ends up being the right thing for Ukraine.’
He added: ‘I remember it being told it would be the wrong idea to give them the anti-tank missiles. Actually, they were indispensable. Same with tanks.
‘Urging Britain and its allies to “go further”, he said the supply of more arms would “save time, save money, save lives’, adding: ‘Give the Ukrainians what they need as fast as possible. Get this done.’
Mr Sunak believes it is ‘not practical’ to send British fighter jets to Ukraine, No 10 said, despite the PM being keen to boost support to Kyiv to avoid a lengthy stalemate.
Asked about Mr Farage’s criticism – after the Brexiteer said Mr Johnson’s relationship with the truth is ‘somewhat loose’ – the former PM scoffed:
‘I don’t know if Nigel’s speaking for the Kremlin. He added: Kremlin are fabled for their complete refusal to tell the truth about anything that’s happening in Ukraine. I think what Putin was trying to do was creep me out.
‘What he was trying to do was reduce it to a story about a nuclear standoff between Russia and Nato.
‘We’ve got to avoid being sucked down that rabbit hole. This is not what it’s about. It’s about the invasion of a completely innocent country,’ he said.