BBC 🔵 Lord Cameron rules out Western boots on the ground in Ukraine – Shango Media
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BBC 🔵 Lord Cameron rules out Western boots on the ground in Ukraine

David Cameron

Lord Cameron has ruled out Western troops being sent into Ukraine to deal with the continuing war with Russia.

The foreign secretary acknowledged that the « war will be lost if the allies don’t step up » on the BBC’s Ukrainecast podcast.

But asked whether Western nations should send troops into Ukraine, Lord Cameron replied « no ».

He also said he would be working to get policies into the « best possible shape » by November’s US elections.

Lord Cameron was speaking at a two-day North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (Nato) summit of 32 foreign ministers in Brussels.

Nato boss Jens Stoltenberg has floated plans for a 100 billion euro ($107bn), five-year package of military aid to Ukraine, with the aim of finalising a package in time for the next summit in Washington in July.

The move is aimed at allaying concerns around the outcome of the US election in November, with candidate Donald Trump suggesting the US could cut support and claiming some Nato members were not paying their way.

One diplomat, quoted by the Reuters news agency, suggested the package « goes some way to protecting in case of Trump. But it is impossible to create something Trump-proof ».

Lord Cameron said he’d be making his second visit to the United States since becoming foreign secretary next week and would be urging Congress to give more financial support, which « could change the narrative » in Ukraine.

Nato would have to work with whoever wins this year’s US election, he said, so now was the time to get into « the best possible shape by November » – alluding to complaints from candidate Donald Trump.

He told Ukrainecast: « If we can get that money out of the US Congress, if we can get Ukraine the arms they need, if we can show Putin that he can’t outwait us and that Ukraine is going to fight back and win back more of its territory.

« If we can do all those things, whoever gets in in November, we’ll look at the situation in Ukraine and… look at more and more NATO members spending 2% of their GDP on defence and say, this is a success story. I want to invest in this success.

« So turn Ukraine in the situation and Nato into the strongest possible alliance with the strongest possible prospect of success. And whoever wins in November 2024 would inherit a better situation. »

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Asked about fears the war could spill over the Ukrainian border, particularly in Poland and the Baltics, Lord Cameron gave assurances that Nato would intervene in those circumstances, under the organisation’s Article 5 pledge that « an attack on one is an attack on all ».

But he ruled out boots on the ground in Ukraine itself, saying: « No. I think that, we don’t want to give Putin a target like that. »

The former prime minister said the UK would use the « architecture of Nato » to deliver support to Ukraine but drew a distinction between a Nato mission « for Ukraine » as opposed to « in Ukraine ».

He added: « I think it’s not escalatory to say we’re going to help this independent, sovereign country to fight off an aggressor and we’re going to give it all the help we can in order to do that. »

Britain has given Ukraine more than £7bn and trained more than 60,000 Ukrainian soldiers, in a programme started under Mr Cameron’s tenure as PM.

But the foreign secretary urged other countries backing Ukraine to also step up, perhaps by donating weapons.

« Some weapons have an expiration date, » he said. « Much better to give those to Ukraine and they can use them than have to decommission them at home that actually costs you money. »

The foreign secretary said he would not answer any questions on Israel-Gaza.

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  • David Cameron
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