- G20 meeting this week is the largest summit of major economies since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine
- The UK and allies will use talks to call out Putin’s actions and their devastating, far-reaching impact on global food and energy prices
- A new generation of British frigates will bolster the UK’s defences and sustain 4,000 UK jobs
The Prime Minister is in Indonesia today (Tuesday) for the first meeting of the G20 in the group’s 15-year history held in the shadow of a major European war instigated by one of its members.
The summit comes as countries grapple with the ramifications of Putin’s brutality and disregard for sovereignty, with rising costs of food and energy hitting the world’s poorest.
Russia has acted with disregard for sovereignty and international law – pillars of the stable international system the G20 was created to preserve. At this week’s meeting, the Prime Minister and his fellow leaders will call out Putin’s callous disregard for human rights and stress that Russia’s role in the international system will never be normalised while the war in Ukraine continues.
The UK and allies are taking steps to bolster their security in the face of increased Russian threats. Today the Prime Minister has announced the next phase in the Type 26 frigate programme, with a £4.2 billion contract awarded to BAE Systems to build five more ships for the Royal Navy – in addition to the three already under construction.
The project will support 1,700 jobs at the BAE systems sites in Govan and Scotstoun, Glasgow, over the next decade. 2,300 additional jobs will be supported in the supply chain across the UK.
The Prime Minister said:
“There can be no normalisation of Putin’s behaviour, which has no place in the international community.
“Russia’s actions put all of us at risk. 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. This includes building the next generation of British warships.
“Putin and his proxies will never have a legitimate seat at the table until they end their illegal war in Ukraine. At the G20, the Putin regime – which has stifled domestic dissent and fabricated a veneer of validity only through violence – will hear the chorus of global opposition to its actions.”
The UK-pioneered Type 26 is an advanced warship with the primary purpose of anti-submarine warfare. It will work to protect the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent and Carrier Strike Group.
Maritime security is crucial for defending our island nation, enabling global trade, and for the ongoing operation of seabed energy and communications infrastructure. The importance and vulnerability of these connections was made clear in September when a series of explosions critically ruptured the Nord Stream pipelines, cutting off a major gas route to Europe.
Adversaries such as Russia are continually seeking to exploit any weaknesses in this area and any gaps in our security or that of our allies put our people and economies at risk.
Construction of all eight of the Type 26 frigates is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s. When operational, the ships can be deployed all over the world in defence of the UK and allies’ security.
Alongside calling out Russia’s behaviour, the Prime Minister will use the G20 Summit to reiterate the UK’s staunch support for Ukraine. As Chancellor the Prime Minister committed £4.1bn in direct support to Ukraine, including £2.3bn in vital military aid. Today the Prime Minister will re-commit to matching that level of spending on military support next year.
While Chancellor, the Prime Minister also spearheaded the UK’s contribution to a G7-wide cap on the price of Russian oil on international markets. Last week the UK introduced legislation to prevent countries using the UK’s maritime services to transport Russian oil unless it is purchased below the price cap – a hugely influential measure given the UK provides around 60% of global maritime insurance.
President Zelenskyy is expected to virtually address the first session of the G20 today, ensuring Russia is forced to reckon first-hand with the senseless violence they are inflicting.
The impact of this violence reaches beyond Ukraine and has forced a more difficult and dangerous future on people throughout the world. The most vulnerable people continue to be the ones who are suffering the most with rising food, energy and other costs.
The Prime Minister will use today’s meeting to emphasise the importance of the world’s most powerful economies reducing their dependence on Russian exports and supporting others to do the same.
We must ensure Putin’s attempt to divide the international community fails. That requires likeminded countries to end their dependence on Russian hydrocarbons and secure long-term energy supplies for our countries.
The UK quickly legislated to ban the import of Russian coal, oil and liquified natural gas. At the G20 we will continue our work with partners to completely phase out dependence on Russian energy, shifting to more reliable and less exploitative sources.