Britain remains ‘bedrock’ of NATO, Sunak declares

Britain remains ‘bedrock’ of NATO, Sunak declares


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Tuesday ahead of a visit by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Britain will play an important role in NATO for generations to come.

The NATO chief will be the first international leader Sunak has met at Downing Street since he took office last month.

Talks on Wednesday will focus on British support for Ukraine after February’s Russian invasion and the future of the alliance, Sunak’s office said.

“As the war in Ukraine rages on, we must not take peace at home for granted,” Sunak said in a statement.

“I firmly believe that Britain will be the bedrock of NATO for generations to come,” he added.

“But to meet the challenges of the future, we must evolve as an alliance to meet and stay ahead of the threat posed by our adversaries.”

NATO said separately that Stoltenberg would also meet British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Stoltenberg will meet Sunak after visiting a military facility where Ukrainian troops are being trained by the British military.

Britain has offered to train a total of 19,000 Ukrainian recruits in vital battlefield skills, including marksmanship, weapons handling, urban and trench warfare and first aid.

Sunak announced on Tuesday that Britain is sending additional equipment to Ukrainian soldiers to help them weather the harsh winter, including more than 25,000 sets of extremely cold-weather clothing, 12,000 sleeping bags and 150 heated tents.

One of the first calls from the new prime minister in office was to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had close ties to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Sunak pledged to continue Britain’s “steadfast support” and solidarity for Ukraine.

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