“Putin is creating a Russia that is geared for constant war,” says Sunak govt in NYC

Russia is spending 20 times more on military than UK, pro-rata

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2024

“40% of Russian budget dedicated to military and security spending,” versus 2% in UK

On Friday the UN Security Council met. As one of the five Permanent Members, the UK government delivered a stern warning about the intentions of the newly ‘re-elected’ Russian President Vladimir Putin. Effectively the Sunak government claims Putin’s Russia is now on a long-term war footing – one which questions the security of European countries beyond Ukraine.

It would be fair to say the UK’s statement at the UN Security Council does not mince words. The shocking statistic is that Putin is now spending 20 times more of the proportion of its GDP on its military than the United Kingdom, according to the UK government.

For eight years the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team has argued for a doubling in military spending from 2% of GDP to a minimum of 4% and we advocated 5% as the target. We have also campaigned for a substantial increase in the proportion spent on weapons and equipment, which is currently around 20% of the total defence spend.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

UK Statement to the UN Security Council in New York

Below we present excerpts from the speech of the UK representative, which can be read in full here.

“President, the Russian Representative has today once again attempted to recast Russia’s war on Ukraine as a product of ‘Western aggression’. We have of course heard many different explanations from our Russian colleagues in this Chamber.

When Russia’s full-scale invasion began, we were told that occupation of Ukraine was not part of the plan. That the goal was apparently to protect people who had been victimised and exposed to genocide. A claim which the International Court of Justice, of course, dismissed.

We have subsequently been subjected to spurious meetings on biolabs, on persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church and on Russophobia as a threat to international peace and security."

© UN 2024 - click to enlarge

"President, Russia’s attempts to obfuscate and distract from reality are not only a waste of this Council’s time, but they are also ineffective. No amount of linguistic gymnastics from our Russian counterparts can change the facts.

The truth regarding Russia’s aggression is clear. For more than two years now, Russia has been engaged in a neo-imperial war of aggression in flagrant violation of the UN Charter.

President Putin is creating a Russia, and Russian economy, that is geared for constant war with 40% of the country’s federal budget dedicated to military and security spending alone.

It is clear that President Putin has no intention of peace any time soon and indeed, it begs the question of his plans beyond Ukraine too.

President, in conducting its war of aggression, Russia has relentlessly targeted Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, including through double-tap strikes targeting first responders. Just last night, Russia attempted to carry out a massive missile attack on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Russia has kidnapped Ukrainian children. It has deployed UAVs from Iran, and ballistic missiles from North Korea in violation of this Council’s resolutions and has press-ganged foreign nationals to fight its war from Ghana, from India, from Nepal.

President, as the UN reported this week, in the areas of Ukraine that Russia temporarily occupies, it has attempted to consolidate control through a ‘climate of fear’, by using execution, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, censorship, surveillance, political oppression and movement restrictions – all of this is a stark contrast to the image of happy citizens expressing their democratic rights that the Russian Ambassador attempted to paint in this Council last week.

President, the cost to Russia and the Russian people of President Putin’s neo-imperial vanity have also been profound:

The Russian economy has lost $400 billion through sanctions and hundreds of thousands of young Russians have left for opportunities abroad. For those who have stayed, free speech has been silenced. More than 20,000 have been imprisoned for opposing Putin’s war.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been decimated and nearly 3,000 tanks and 105 fixed wing aircraft have been destroyed. The Russian military has suffered more than 350,000 casualties. Of course, you won’t hear about this on Russian television, but it is all too real for the more than a million Russian mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers touched by the tragedy of President Putin’s hubris.

And all this for a war that Russia cannot win.

Russia cannot win because through their courage and ingenuity Ukrainians have shown they will not be subjugated. Russian cannot win because the international community will not abandon Ukraine. We do not have cold feet. We will continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to defend its territory from Russian aggression. And President, finally, Russia cannot win because it is vital that imperialism and colonial ideology are consigned to the past.

So, we once again call on the Russian Federation to stop wasting this Council’s time, to end its war of aggression and to uphold the UN Charter.”

- Statement by UK Deputy Political Coordinator Thomas Phipps at the UN Security Council 22 Mar 2024


The United Kingdom Government’s statement in New York is welcome, although we would have gone further. By eliminating his enemies such as Alexei Navalny and others, Putin’s is now a fully-fledged rogue regime. With democratic opposition effectively obliterated, his ‘win’ in the Russian election one week ago with 88% of the vote was obtained by killing or banning all serious opponents.

As Russia increasingly aligns itself with other dictatorships such as those of Xi Jinping’s China, Kim Jong Un’s North Korea, and Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s Iran, an axis has been forming.

Meanwhile the EU continues to fund Putin’s regime by buying from Russia, despite all the sanctions it says it has imposed.

Last week the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle managed to produce a long piece on German reunification without once mentioning the significant contributions by US President Ronald Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in causing the fall of the Soviet Union.

When history is re-written like this, new generations fail to learn any lessons from the past.

Finally, quite why this address to the UN Security Council was delivered by the UK’s ‘Deputy Political Coordinator’ Thomas Phipps - rather than by the Ambassador - is a mystery.

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[ Sources: UN Security Council | FCDO | SIPRI Arms Transfers Database | NATO ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Mon 25 Mar 2024

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