Sunak condemns potential Russian dam attack amid Ukraine visit

The Prime Minister has condemned the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, stating that if Russia is found responsible, it would represent the largest attack on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine since the war began. Rishi Sunak, on his way to Washington for a two-day trip, said that intelligence agencies had not yet made a definitive judgement on whether President Putin was behind the “appalling attack.”

“If it’s intentional, it would represent, I think, the largest attack on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine since the start of the war, and just demonstrate the new lows that we would have seen from Russian aggression,” he told the press.

“Attacks on civilian infrastructure are appalling and wrong. We’ve seen previous instances of that in this conflict so far, but it’s too early to say definitively.”

In response to the attack, the UK has offered humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Resources and funding have already been put in place to support both the United Nations and the Red Cross in responding to situations like this.

During Sunak’s visit to Washington, he will hold bi-lateral talks with US leaders, focusing on how Western allies can best support Kyiv in its battle against Russia. The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said that one of the topics of discussion would be how to sustain the high level of global support for Ukraine while providing them with the capabilities they need, including air defence.

These discussions come as allies intensify support before Ukraine’s expected summer counteroffensive. A significant breakthrough occurred at the G7 last month when the US and its allies agreed to provide training and F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Sunak’s visit to Washington aims to strengthen relations between the US and UK, focusing on greater economic interoperability and deeper trade ties. He will also make a pitch to President Biden to involve the UK more deeply in the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI).

However, the UK faces challenges in these areas, with the US, China, and the EU leading the way in AI development and the much-anticipated US-UK free trade deal being put on hold. The Prime Minister’s spokesperson stated that “neither side is pursuing a US free trade deal currently, but our trading relationship with the US is vital.”

On the topic of AI, the Prime Minister hopes to take a lead in setting a regulatory framework. However, post-Brexit, the UK has been locked out of key forums between the EU and the US, where AI governance plans are negotiated on a bilateral basis. Sunak will attempt to pursue direct channels with President Biden during his visit to address this issue.

While the UK has shown strong leadership in supporting Ukraine post-Brexit, challenges remain in trade and AI regulation, highlighting the repercussions of leaving the EU.

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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