Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on the US to give Ukraine “what they need as fast as possible” a day after President Biden ruled out the possibility of sending F-16 fighter jets to the war-torn nation.
“This is not the moment to delay any support for Ukraine. This is the moment to double down on our support. Give them what they need, whether it’s the tanks or the long-range artillery fires. They need to kick Putin out of the whole of the territory,” Johnson told Fox News Channel’s Brett Baier Tuesday during an interview on “Special Report.”
Biden, 80, on Monday declared that the US wouldn’t be sending F-16 fighter jets to help Ukraine fend off ramped up Russia attacks. The president told reporters, “No” when asked at the White House if the US would consider sending the warplanes.
When asked explicitly by Baier if he thought Ukraine would be getting F-16 jets despite Biden’s comments, Johnson said the US should “give the Ukrainians what they need as fast as possible.”
“Every time we have said that it will be a mistake to give such and such an item of weaponry, we end up doing it, and it ends up being the right thing for Ukraine,” the former British leader told Baier.
“I remember being told that it was the wrong idea to give them the anti-tank shoulder-launched missiles. Actually, they were indispensable, and the United States, under Donald Trump, gave them the Javelins as well. They were indispensable in those battles to repel the Russian tanks. People said that we shouldn’t give the HIMARS. I remember having arguments about the multiple-launch rocket systems, the MLRS. Actually, they proved invaluable for the Ukrainians,” he added.
“Save time, save money, save lives. Give the Ukrainians what they need as fast as possible. Get this thing done. Forget about Putin. Go for economic stability, long-term peace and prosperity,” Johnson urged.
The former British prime minister, who was one of the first Western leaders to go into Ukraine after Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion and meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, said Tuesday that the West needs to “stick with it,” in terms of supporting Ukraine.
Johnson was in Washington, DC, Tuesday and said he met with Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Capitol Hill, where he claimed to have found “a massive amount of bipartisan support” for Ukraine.
Last week, Biden announced that the US will send Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks, in a reversal from the Pentagon’s stated opposition to the arms shipment.
“The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “These tanks are further evidence of our enduring and unflagging commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the skill of Ukrainian forces.”
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