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Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron Alamy Stock Photo
War in Ukraine

David Cameron says Nato wants to help Ukraine without putting boots on the ground

The former UK prime minister said Ukraine’s war with Russia “will be lost if the allies don’t step up”.

UK FOREIGN SECRETARY David Cameron has ruled out Nato troops being sent to Ukraine, to avoid giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a target.

The former UK prime minister said Ukraine’s war with Russia “will be lost if the allies don’t step up”.

Cameron said he will urge the US Congress to increase its financial support of Ukraine during a visit to the United States next week.

“What Nato is looking at is a Nato mission for Ukraine, not a Nato mission in Ukraine,” he told the BBC’s Ukrainecast.

“It’s making sure that we use Nato’s architecture to help deliver some of the support that Ukraine needs,” Cameron said. 

“But fundamentally, I think that we should do everything we can to help Ukraine, that’s been Britain’s position.”

Cameron said he does not believe it is “escalatory to say we are going to help this independent sovereign country to fight off an aggressor, and we’re going to give it all the help we can in order to do that”.

In response to whether he could see Nato boots on the ground in Ukraine, Cameron said “no”, adding: “I think that we don’t want to give Putin a target like that, and Nato can do lots of things to better co-ordinate the help we give to Ukraine.

“But fundamentally, for countries like Britain and all those supportive of Ukraine this is a question of political will. Do we have the patience? Do we have the will? Are we prepared to give the resources? Now in Britain’s case, definitely the answer is yes.”

He added: “If we can get that money out of the US Congress, if we can get Ukraine the arms they need, if we can show Putin that he can’t outwait us and that Ukraine is going to fight back and win back more of its territory.

“If we can do all those things, whoever gets in in November, we’ll look at the situation in Ukraine and … look at more and more Nato members spending 2% of their GDP on defence and say, this is a success story. I want to invest in this success.

“So turn Ukraine in the situation and Nato into the strongest possible alliance with the strongest possible prospect of success. And whoever wins in November 2024 would inherit a better situation.”

Cameron is in Brussels for the second day of the Nato foreign ministers’ meeting, where he likened the current situation with Russia to the one Britain and France faced at the 1938 Munich Conference with Nazi Germany.

In his speech at an event in Brussels hosted by the Royal United Services Institute, Cameron said Nato needed to demonstrate its “relevance” to younger people who had not grown up with the threat of the Cold War.

Press Association