The West needs to increase military assistance to Ukraine to ensure the war with Russia does not turn into a bloody and open stalemate, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Tuesday during a visit to Washington.

«We’ve started to see a slowdown, an ossification, of the contact line,» Cleverly told reporters, lamenting the «great loss of life.»

Therefore, «we believe that now is the right time to intensify our support for Ukraine,» he said. “We cannot allow this to drag on and become some kind of World War I attrition stalemate.”

Britain announced over the weekend that it would send a squadron of 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, the first country to offer modern Western tanks to Kyiv. The UK also said it would provide more heavy artillery and ammunition to help Ukraine push Russian forces back from its territory.

«The UK has been very much at the forefront» in its security assistance to Ukraine, Cleverly said. He stopped short of urging the United States, Germany or other governments to also supply Ukraine with new tanks or other more advanced weapons.

The response of each country will be different and according to its political and economic interests, he said.

Germany has faced growing calls to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries that have Leopards to supply them to Kyiv.

He smartly said that Germany deserved credit for breaking with its longstanding defense policy and deciding to send a variety of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.

“I think it’s incredibly brave what the German government has done,” he said.

He said the invasion of Russia had inflicted losses not only on Ukrainian civilians and soldiers, but also on Russian conscripts, who he said were being sent to the battlefield as cannon fodder.

«We see poorly trained troops being recruited and sent to the front lines and fed into a meat grinder,» Cleverly said, calling their treatment «morally depraved.»

Britain's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly speaks during a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the State Department's Benjamin Franklin Room in Washington, DC on January 17. of 2023.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly speaks in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images

Cleverly, who later met his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said Russia was struggling to maintain its war effort and would have to organize another mobilization.

“I think it’s inevitable that we’ll see other forms of mobilization,” Cleverly said. He did not elaborate.

Clever also said it was «inevitable» that Russian President Vladimir Putin would continue to engage in more escalating rhetoric as Russia comes under more pressure on the battlefield.

“This escalating rhetoric is something we are going to have to wait for,” he said. “This is something we are going to have to get used to. And we will respond calmly and considerately.»

Ukraine and its supporters have accused the United States and NATO countries of moving too slowly at times to provide Ukraine with the weapons and ammunition it needs, possibly depriving Kyiv of the chance to secure an early victory.

But at a joint news conference, Blinken said US aid has evolved as the conflict has evolved and that weapons from the US and other allies have been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield.

Referring to longer-range anti-aircraft, anti-tank, and rocket and missile defense systems, Blinken said, “If you look at the trajectory, from Stingers to Javelins, to HIMARs, to Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Patriots, we’ve continuously provided missile batteries. what Ukraine needs”.

The United States has provided about $25 billion in security assistance to Ukraine in less than a year, and «the bottom line is that we are determined to make sure Ukraine has what it needs,» Blinken said.

He said he expected more announcements of US military assistance «in the coming days.»

Russia has argued that it is ready for peace talks and that Ukraine and its NATO allies are not, but Blinken said that picture was «totally false.»

Putin’s own words showed that he had no interest in genuine negotiations, Blinken said, citing a recent Kremlin statement after Putin held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Putin said Russia was ready for dialogue if Ukraine accepted what he called «new territorial realities», according to the Kremlin, a clear reference to territory occupied by Russian forces.

«That, of course, is itself a failure,» Blinken said.