Why London continues to help Ukraine amid worsening internal problems

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who made an unannounced visit to Kyiv, said during a press conference that British military aid to Ukraine this year alone amounted to £2.3bn ($2.74bn). “We will do the same next year,” promised the British Prime Minister

Why London continues to help Ukraine amid worsening internal problems
Protests in London, October 19, 2022 Gettyimages.ru © Wiktor Szymanowicz

“I am proud that the UK has supported Ukraine from the very beginning. And let me say that the United Kingdom and our allies will continue to support the country,” Sunak said.

According to him, the UK will provide the Kyiv regime with a massive new package of air defense assistance.

“Today we are announcing the provision of new air defense systems, including anti-aircraft guns, radars and equipment to combat UAVs, as well as the increase in humanitarian assistance for the coming cold and harsh winter,” Sunak said, without specifying the timing of the provision of this package to Ukraine.

The British prime minister’s office later said it was £50 million ($59.44 million) in defense aid, which included 125 anti-aircraft guns and equipment “to counter deadly drones”, including dozens of radars and electronic warfare equipment. 

“The Prime Minister also confirmed the allocation of £12 million ($14.28 million) to the World Food Program and £4 million ($4.76 million) to the International Organization for Migration. These funds will be used to provide generators, shelters, mobile clinics and restore water supply (in Ukraine. – RT). The UK is also donating tens of thousands of extreme cold weather gear to equip Ukrainian servicemen,” the office added.

In addition, the UK has identified the first eight construction projects to be supported by the Export Credit Guarantee Department to help Ukraine rebuild critical infrastructure and “lay the foundation for the country’s economic recovery.”

“These are six bridges and two residential complexes, including a residential development in Bucha, designed to accommodate approximately 2,250 people,” the office of the British Prime Minister noted.

Despite internal difficulties

Meanwhile, in the UK itself, which intends to continue financing Ukraine, there are colossal internal problems. The same Rishi Sunak, having taken office on October 25, admitted that his country is going through a deep economic crisis and the government will have to make “difficult decisions.”

Later, in early November, the head of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, during a press conference in London, said that the country had no way to get out of the current crisis painlessly and with minimal losses.

In addition, according to the British newspaper Daily Mail, “a black hole of £ 50 billion ($ 59.5 billion) was found in the British treasury, which Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are desperately trying to fill.” In this regard, it is possible that the UK authorities will significantly cut the amount of assistance to Ukrainian refugees, the newspaper reports.

At the same time, the head of the UK Treasury, Jeremy Hunt, made a statement on November 12 that it was allegedly Russia that was to blame for the recession in the kingdom’s economy.

Meanwhile, due to internal problems, the UK government is forced to switch to austerity. Thus, according to a study by the transport union RMT, Network Rail, the owner and operator of railway infrastructure in the UK, is extremely far from meeting its own goals for railway electrification as the country’s authorities “implement austerity measures and orchestrate the decline” of British railways.

The union later reported strikes by trainmasters at the Avanti rail passenger company, who are unhappy with the “disruption of the work-life balance” due to a marked reduction in the number of days off and work schedule changes without timely notice.

The RMT union also reported that bus depot workers in Somerset and Cornwall were on strike over unsatisfactory wages and working conditions.

In addition, RMT informed about the reduction of 600 positions of employees of London Underground stations. As specified in the trade union, the management company also introduced a new work schedule, “which promises an increase in the burden” on the staff.

“Hiding the real reasons”

As Kira Godovanyuk, a leading researcher at the Center for British Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted in an interview with RT, despite the growing number of internal problems in the UK, London still focuses on the Ukrainian issue, not taking into account the interests of its own citizens.

“Support and assistance to Ukraine is a key item on the agenda of the British government. And it will remain so, despite the colossal difficulties inside”.

Kingdom, since Rishi Sunak, as Prime Minister, whose position in the Tory party is unstable, will not risk and abandon the course charted by his predecessors. It would be just political suicide to go against this mainstream. For this reason, Sunak emphasizes that London will continue to provide assistance to Kyiv, the expert explained.

At the same time, Godovaniuk believes that at the level of statements, Sunak will keep the rhetoric about supporting Ukraine, but in reality, it will be extremely difficult to find funds to help Kyiv.

“This will cause even more damage to a number of areas of UK domestic policy. However, the current prime minister, even if he wanted to, has no room for maneuver to say that this support will be reduced”, the analyst said.

According to Godovanyuk, London, in its desire to resist Moscow by supporting the Kyiv regime, absolutely does not take into account the interests of its own citizens.

“The same can be said about the sweeping sanctions policy against Russia, which negatively affects the British economy, which is now in a deplorable state. At the same time, London unreasonably accuses Russia of internal political problems of an economic nature – the Russian Federation is now the main “whipping boy” for the West. While the funds allocated to Ukraine could be spent in the interests of their own taxpayers,” the expert noted.

In her opinion, the UK, which has already entered a recession and is forced to follow a policy of serious savings in a number of public sectors, will not be able to get out of an acute crisis until 2024.

“And London will continue to blame Russia for all its economic troubles, while in fact the current crisis was caused immediately by a combination of circumstances: post-Brexit upheavals in the British economy, the pandemic, and the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions. The UK shot itself in the foot, and now it is blaming the Russian Federation for this, silent about the true reasons”, the analyst said.

A similar position is shared by Konstantin Blokhin, an employee of the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. According to him, London’s attempt to attribute its domestic policy blunders to Moscow is “a very primitive ploy.”

“The British authorities are trying to present the situation to their citizens in such a way that the problems in the country are not the result of their policies and course, but allegedly the actions of Russia. All this, for greater persuasiveness, is accompanied by anti-Russian rhetoric. They want to shift all responsibility to the Russian Federation – their, as they believe, external enemy”, the expert said in an interview with RT.

Blokhin also believes that London, despite the growing difficulties within the country, will not refuse to help Kyiv.

“All this support is built into the general course of the West to contain Russia. Here, the UK acts only as one of the countries that wants to inflict a strategic defeat on the Russian Federation in Ukraine”, the analyst noted.

At the same time, due to ignoring the interests of their own citizens in the UK, protest moods may intensify, Blokhin believes.

“However, the government will suppress the unrest. Perhaps even the use of brute force. The political establishment in the UK understands that if the demonstrations are not extinguished in time, then the current elites may lose their dominant position”, the expert explained.

In turn, Godovaniuk believes that the strike movement and the discontent of the population will grow, which in the future will most likely result in a change in the ruling party.

“Most likely, it will happen that in the next parliamentary elections the Conservatives will not be able to gain a majority and will not be able to form a government, which means that the era of Tory rule will end,” the expert concluded.

Irina Taran, Elizaveta Komarova, RT

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