UK accused of wasting time with half of £900m Ukraine fund unused

Conflicts 16:17 20.04.2024

More than half of a £900m military fund for Ukraine run by the British Ministry of Defence has not been used because of bureaucratic delays in handing out contracts, Ednews reports via The Guardian.

The UK-led International Fund for Ukraine counts nine countries among its donors. Critics claim its provision of weapons to the frontline has been slow.

Of the £900m donated by governments over the last two years, of which £500m came from the UK, just £404m has been committed or spent.

Some of the equipment covered in the contracts signed will not reach Ukraine until spring next year, ministers have admitted.

The delays are said by MoD officials to have been caused by a need to assess each of the huge number of defence companies that have tendered for contracts.

John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, accused the MoD of being on a “go-slow”.

He said: “The UK is united in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression. As Russia steps up its attacks in Ukraine, its allies must accelerate military support.

“Instead, the UK government is on a go-slow in getting crucial new kit into the hands of Ukrainians. Speeding it up would have our Labour backing, as on Britain’s military help to Ukraine and on reinforcing Nato allies, the government has had – and will continue to have – our fullest Labour support.”

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