Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross claims the UK needs to send more military aid to Ukraine, after seeing defence equipment being built first-hand in Fife.
The MP made the comments while visiting defence giant Babcock International in Rosyth.
He said the UK has been involved in helping Ukraine since before the Russian invasion at the end of February but added “there is always more we can do”.
Fighting rages on in Ukraine, with some figures estimating more than 2,500 civilians have died in the attack on the southern city of Mariupol alone.
‘There is always more we can do’
Asked for his thoughts on how much military aid is being sent to Ukraine, Mr Ross said: “The ongoing work didn’t just start at the Russian invasion.
“There was always a threat that would happen for years.
“We have been helping to train the military in Ukraine, and companies like Babcock have been involved in Ukraine, as have many other vital parts of the UK.
“There is always more we can do in the stoic defence of the people of Ukraine, who are fighting to save their country.
“We need to do everything we can and get Ukrainians back to their country without any oppression being put on them by Vladimir Putin.”
A recent attack on the Yavoriv base near the Polish border killed 35 people and injured 124, sparking concerns of Nato allies going to war against Russia.
Following the attack, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said: “Any fire, even accidental, on a neighbouring Nato country would trigger a full-force Nato response.”
Defence spending needed in Scotland
Mr Ross said the crisis in Ukraine brings into “sharper focus” the importance of defence spending in Scotland.
He added the ongoing construction work also shows the UK Government is committed to investing in Scotland.
This comes only a month after Babcock’s chief executive said they would consider relocating to England if Scotland voted for independence when Prime Minister Boris Johnson toured the yard in February.
Delighted to visit Babcock's shipyard in Rosyth today where the Royal Navy's new Type 31 frigates are currently under construction.
An excellent UK Government project which will boost the UK's military capacity and provide local jobs in Scotland. pic.twitter.com/Rl3JCyt23W
— Douglas Ross MP MSP (@Douglas4Moray) March 15, 2022
Mr Ross said: “Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine has brought into sharper focus than ever the importance of defence spending and the need for top-class defence contractors, such as Babcock.
“Five Type 31 Royal Navy frigates are being built here and that’s a huge vote of confidence from the UK Government in the expertise and knowledge of Babcock staff.
“Ministry of Defence spending in Scotland in 2020/21 was almost £2 billion.
“This is higher per head of population than in the rest of the UK, and shows the key role Scotland plays in UK defence and the skilled jobs that flow from it.”