France and the United Kingdom will stand by Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion “for as long as it takes,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Tuesday, adding that defeating President Vladimir Putin was “critical.”
His remarks come as concerns grow in Kyiv that Western patience and unity in the fight against Russia may be fraying nearly two years after the invasion began in February 2022.
“Britain and France have been staunch supporters of Ukraine, and we will continue to be for as long as it takes,” Cameron said after talks in Paris with French counterpart Catherine Colonna, adding, “I have no doubt that we can make sure Putin loses, and it is essential he does lose.”
“We must be absolutely staunch in how we support Ukraine,” he said.
The White House warned on Monday that the US has only authorized funding for one more aid package to Ukraine this year, with hardline Republicans in Congress blocking additional assistance.
Cameron compared the fight against the Russian invasion to a play with different acts, insisting that the West must stay the course.
“The first act was the stunning failure of Russia to achieve its objectives” in the initial phase of the invasion, said Cameron.
“The second act was the brilliance the Ukrainians showed in driving back the Russians, and of course the third act has been more difficult on land,” he said in apparent reference to the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive this summer to achieve a breakthrough.
The former British prime minister, Cameron, who was unexpectedly appointed Britain’s top diplomat last month, added: “But the fourth act is yet to be written, and we must be sure we write it in the correct way.”
Both Cameron and Colonna were eager to emphasize that, even after Brexit, Britain and France were on the same page on major international issues such as Ukraine and the Middle East.
“Our two countries, shoulder-to-shoulder since the beginning, have worked together to ensure that Russian aggression cannot be rewarded, that it is a failure, and that Ukraine can recover its freedom, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity,” said Colonna.
“We hope that this cooperation can be further strengthened,” she added.