French officials have raised concerns over the state of the British Armed Forces. The Telegraph understands that officials in Paris claimed that budget cuts to the UK’s military were causing alarm among Nato members. A leading French MP said that there were concerns in his country that Britain had given weapons to Ukraine from its own supplies, leaving its forces depleted. British government sources insisted that the French had not raised any such concerns with them. It comes amid a row over defence spending in the upcoming Budget, with Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said to have asked the Chancellor for £10 billion for his department. Calls for more money have been bolstered by the war in Ukraine, and by growing warnings about the threat from China in the wake of suspected spy balloons being shot down over the US. Our Defence Editor Danielle Sheridan has the full report.
Brexit battles and sausage wars seemed far less important after Putin invaded Ukraine.
Talk of shared values in the face of Russian aggression will prepare the groundwork for the sell in EU capitals and London.
Kyiv warned against retaking Crimea
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, has warned that a Ukrainian attempt to retake Crimea would be a red line for Vladimir Putin that could escalate the conflict. It has been reported that Mr Blinken told a group of experts that the US is not seeking to actively encourage Kyiv to reclaim the peninsula that was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014. The US’s top diplomat said the decision should be left up to Ukraine to decide alone. Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer met with Volodymyr Zelensky in his first visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
- Robert Clark | ‘Jets to Ukraine’ has become a dangerous distraction