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UK“s Sunak extends support to Ukraine, awards $4.9 bln contract to BAE Systems


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak boards a plane to travel to G20 meeting in Bali at Stanstead airport, London, Britain November 13, 2022. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday extended his support for Ukraine at the G20 summit while confirming a long-planned order for warships from BAE Systems (BAES.L).

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime would hear the chorus of global opposition to its actions, Sunak said

“Russia’s actions put all of us at risk,” he said at the summit in Bali, Indonesia. “As we give the Ukrainian people the support they need, we are also harnessing the breadth and depth of UK expertise to protect ourselves and our allies.”

Sunak also announced a 4.2 billion pound ($4.94 billion) contract to BAE Systems (BAES.L) to build five ships for the Royal Navy, a government statement said.

This contract, in addition to the three ships already under construction, comes as the next phase in the Type 26 frigate programme and all the eight of the Type 26 frigates are expected to be completed by the mid-2030s, the statement said.

The British government has planned to build a total of eight Type 26s since 2015, when it cut the programme from 13 ships.

Ships of the class will be advanced warships to be used in anti-submarine warfare to protect the British nuclear deterrent at sea, according to the government.

The prime minister and fellow leaders would stress at this week’s meeting that Russia’s role in the international system would never be normalised while the war in Ukraine continued, the statement added.

Sunak arrived at the summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday and is expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In support to Ukraine, Britain said last week it would soon complete delivery of 1,000 additional surface-to-air missiles to the Ukraine’s armed forces. Britain also announced delivery of a further 12,000 sleeping kits for extreme cold weather.

The announcements come as Britain prepares for a budget on Nov. 17 in which the government will lay out spending cuts and tax rises.

($1 = 0.8508 pounds)