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Ben Wallace clarifies his remarks on supporting Ukraine

Ben Wallace
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. Photo by Simon Dawson
Ben Wallace clarifies his remarks on supporting Ukraine

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said his comments on supporting Kyiv were partially distorted and reaffirmed his support for Ukraine.

Kyiv and its allies work toward a common goal to help Ukraine get what it needs to repel the Russian invasion, Ben Wallace wrote on Facebook today, on 14 July, and assured that he would support Ukraine as long as necessary.

“There has been a lot of interest in my comments about how best to support Ukraine, and some misreporting,” Ben Wallace wrote. “For the record, as someone who has been at the forefront of galvanizing support for Ukraine, I was discussing the challenges that can occur as we work towards the shared aim of helping Ukraine procure what they need to triumph against this illegal invasion. I talked about the need for Ukraine to sometimes recognize that in many countries and in some Parliaments, there is not the strong support that there is in the UK. This was not a comment about governments but more about citizens and MPs across the international community. What my comments sought to reflect is that it is important to remember not to talk to ourselves, but to make efforts to reach out to the other citizens who still need persuading.”

Ben Wallace said that the UK population and all parties in the British Parliament support military aid for Ukraine, with approval ratings for support to Ukraine being “some of the highest in Europe” – over 70%.

“I will personally continue to support Ukraine all the way, for as long as it takes, but national Parliaments often have competing needs and Ukraine and the UK need to continue to encourage that strong support by the use of facts and friendship,” Ben Wallace wrote on Facebook today.

On 12 July, Ben Wallace called on Ukraine to express more gratitude to its Western partners for their military support in response to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s complaints that Ukraine has not been issued a firm timetable or set of conditions for joining NATO.

“Whether we like it or not, people want to see a bit of gratitude,” Ben Wallace said on 12 July. “I told them [Ukrainians – ed.] that last year, when I drove 11 hours [to Kyiv – ed.] to be given a list [of weapons – ed.], that I’m not like Amazon,” Wallace added.

However, in today’s Facebook post, Ben Wallace claimed that the comments on Amazon were made in 2022 to highlight that Britain’s relationship with Ukraine is not “transactional” but more of a “partnership.”

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