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In response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request for artillery to repel the Russian invasion, the UK has announced it is sending three M270 systems to the defending country. While in Oslo for a meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force, Mr Wallace said today: “I think it’s imminent, their delivery, and the munition has to go alongside.”
Ukraine has repeatedly called on its allies to provide more heavy weaponry as its forces are struggling to defend the Donbas region in the east of the country.
The UK, as well as the US and Germany, has stepped up to support the country with the provision of powerful arms.
In a joint statement, the defence ministries of the three countries said they are “deeply committed to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s unprovoked invasion”.
The statement added: “Russia has shifted its focus to the Donbas region, where it is engaging in a systematic long-range rocket and artillery barrage against defensive Ukrainian military positions and civilian infrastructure alike.
“To help Ukraine defend its citizens and sovereign territory, the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany have committed to provide Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) with Guided MLRS (GMLRS) rockets.
“Ukraine has specifically requested this capability, which will allow the Ukrainian Armed Forces to engage the invading force with accurate fire at ranges of approximately 70 kilometres.”
On June 1, the US announced it would provide four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and GMLRS munitions.
Last week, the UK MoD announced it would donate three M270 MLRS launchers with GMLRS munitions.
And today, at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels, German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht announced the nation would transfer three M270 Mittleres Artillerie Raketen System (MARS) launchers and GMLRS ammunition from Bundeswehr stocks.
The joint statement added: “The transfer of these MLRS systems, and the associated training our three countries will provide to Ukrainian operators is crucial to Ukraine’s self-defence.
“The necessary training has already begun on the US HIMARS and UK M270 systems for their deployment in the coming weeks, and training on the German MARS launchers will begin very soon so the systems and their Ukrainian crews can be deployed urgently and without delay.”
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