UK to run out of financial support for Ukraine by end of 2022: Reports
A YouGov poll reveals a decline in the percentage of Britons who support sanctions against Russia due to the price hikes on the cost of living in the country.
The UK's financial support for the Ukrainian military will run low by the end of the year, The Times newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a source in the UK Defense Ministry.
According to the source, as cited by the newspaper, the UK is running out of weapons and financial contributions for Ukraine, which means that the new UK Prime Minister will face the question of whether to make billions of pounds of additional support at a time when public finances are under strain.
The Times reported that UK citizens are starting to realize the scale of sacrifices they have to make for the sake of Kiev and fear surging gas prices in the country.
In April, Russia voiced protest to NATO countries over the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had previously warned that all cargo that contains arms deliveries for Ukraine could become a target for Russia, while Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov indicated that providing Kiev with Western arms did not contribute to the resolution of the Ukraine conflict and would only have negative consequences.
Britain still providing Ukraine with military & financial support
On Wednesday, outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Ukraine and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Johnson announced the UK’s next major package of military aid to Ukraine, including unmanned surveillance and anti-tank loitering munitions.
In a tweet, Downing Street announced that "the UK is providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a £54 million package of 2,000 state-of-the-art drones and loitering munitions."
It is noteworthy that on June 30, the British government announced that the UK will provide another £1 billion ($1.2 billion) of military support to Ukraine against the backdrop of NATO's claims of Russia being Western security's biggest "direct threat".
According to the government, the money will go to boosting Ukraine's military strength, including air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, new electronic warfare equipment, and thousands of pieces of equipment.
In May, the UK said it will be providing £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in military support to Ukraine, taking the total British military aid to £3.8 billion ($4.6 billion) this year.
In April, Johnson pledged to supply his Ukrainian ally Zelensky with more military equipment, namely 120 armored vehicles and an additional $500 million in World Bank loans.
Percentage of Britons supporting anti-Russia sanctions fell due to price hikes
In a similar context, The Times newspaper highlighted that the British support for imposing new sanctions against Russia has declined, amid the sharp rise in electricity and energy bills and the cost of living caused by the imposed sanctions.
In March, polls conducted by YouGov showed that 48% of respondents supported imposing new sanctions on Moscow even if they had to pay more for electricity, while 38% were against it.
However, a recent poll revealed that 38% of the respondents now support imposing anti-Russia sanctions, while 45% oppose them.
The poll also showed that 42% of the respondents support imposing new sanctions on Russia even if this leads to an increase in the cost of living, while 42% oppose this step.
"Months ahead are going to be tough"
Earlier, outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that "the months ahead are going to be tough, perhaps very tough. Our energy bills are going to be eye-watering."
According to Britain's Office for National Statistics, in June, the country was left without Russian energy carriers for the first time since 1997 due to anti-Russia sanctions.
In the same context, Britain's energy regulator Ofgem has announced an 80% increase in the maximum electricity bill allowed to consumers, starting from 1 October, due to rising global energy prices. Thus, the maximum bill for Brits could grow by 80% or £1,578.
Similarly, a research paper published by the Institute for Government (IfG) suggested that Britain may have to spend $27 billion more in subsidies if they are going to cover the surging energy bills in the upcoming heating season.
This statement would entail every British household paying £900 ($1,057.45) more this winter compared to May's estimate.
In addition, the head of Britain's Energy Regulatory Authority, Jonathan Brierley, warned that energy prices were likely to continue to rise and called on the next Prime Minister to take new measures to combat price hikes.