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UK's Cameron calls for increased NATO spending amid Ukraine conflict

FILE PHOTO: British Foreign Secretary David Cameron walks at Downing Street in London

(Reuters) - British Foreign Minister David Cameron on Wednesday called for NATO allies to bolster defense spending and production in support of Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

"Allies need to step up and spend more on defence in the face of continued Russian aggression and a more dangerous world," Cameron will say in a speech on the occasion of 75 years of NATO history since its founding April 4, 1949.

The British minister will ask the allies to endorse British-led initiatives to procure NATO standard missiles and munitions for the Ukrainian armed forces. The UK has spent billions of dollars in its support for Ukraine since 2022 when the invasion began.

"With Ukraine closer to NATO than ever, we must sustain the critical support Ukraine needs to win the war," Cameron said.

Speaking at a meeting of NATO's foreign ministers, Cameron will also welcome Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom to the NATO alliance.

Sweden officially joined NATO in March, two years after Russia's invasion of Ukraine forced it to rethink its national security policy and conclude that support for the alliance was the Scandinavian nation's best guarantee of safety.

Cameron also pointed to NATO's commitment to integrating Ukraine into the alliance, reaffirming all allies' consensus on Ukraine's future NATO membership.

In February, Britain had announced a new package of sanctions against Russia and said it was seeking to diminish Russian President Vladimir Putin's weapons arsenal and war chest.

(This story has been refiled to specify that Sweden joined NATO in March, not earlier this month, in paragraph 6)

(Reporting by Surbhi Misra in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)