In a meeting in Kyiv, Johnson promises to help Zelensky

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – UK PM Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

The visit was described by No 10 as a “display of solidarity” with the people of Ukraine.

Following the discussion, Downing Street announced that the United Kingdom will send anti-ship missile systems and 120 armoured vehicles to Ukraine to assist the country.

Senior members of Mr Zelensky’s team hailed the United Kingdom for its assistance during the dispute with Russia.

Mr Johnson’s travel to Kyiv was not publicised in advance, and the Ukrainian embassy in London posted a photo of his meeting with President Zelensky on Twitter as the first clue that he was in the city.

The PM had travelled to Ukraine to visit President Zelensky in person, in a demonstration of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

According to the statement following the meeting , PM Johnson said that Ukraine had overcome the odds and forced Russian soldiers back from Kyiv’s gates, achieving the greatest military feat of the twenty-first century.

Putin’s monstrous aims were being defeated thanks to President Zelensky’s steadfast leadership and the unbeatable valour and courage of the Ukrainian people.

He made it clear today that the UK stood unwaveringly committed to them in the ongoing conflict, and that they wanted to stay in it for the long haul.

The UK was increasing their military and economic support, as well as gathering a worldwide alliance, to put a stop to this catastrophe and assure Ukraine’s survival and prosperity as a free and sovereign nation.

Mr Johnson later said at a press conference with President Zelensky that Ukrainians “have shown the courage of a lion but you, Volodymyr, have given the roar of that lion”.

He reaffirmed that the United Kingdom and other nations supporting Ukraine would continue to strengthen economic sanctions against Moscow, including shifting away from Russian hydrocarbons.

The PM added: “Over the last few hours I’ve been able to see quite a lot of your beautiful country and it’s an amazing country.

“I’ve also seen the tragic effects of the war, an inexcusable war, an absolutely inexcusable and unnecessary war.”

“The UK is the leader in defence support for Ukraine,” Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, wrote on Facebook. “The anti-war coalition’s leader. The leader in sanctions against the aggressor Russian.”

President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission and EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell both visited Ukraine on Friday for discussions with President Zelensky, while Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met him in Kyiv on Saturday.

Mr Johnson, on the other hand, is the first member of a G7 country to visit Kiev for talks during the crisis.

Mr. Zelensky has urged the international community to hold Russian forces responsible for the missile strike on Kramatorsk station, which was crowded with women and children fleeing the area.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the incident.

Mr Johnson’s visit to Kyiv comes a day after the UK sealed a £100 million arms deal with Ukraine.

Mr Johnson announced at a Downing Street press conference on Friday, the UK will deliver extra military weapons, including Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles and 800 anti-tank missiles.

It came after Ukraine requested extra armaments as it prepares for an expected Russian invasion in the country’s east after Moscow withdrew its forces from around Kyiv.

Eleni Kyriakou

Eleni is a journalist and analyst at Parliament Magazine focusing on European News and current affairs. She worked as Press and Communication Office – Greek Embassy in Lisbon and Quattro Books Publications, Canada. She is Multilingual with a good grip of cultures, eye in detail, communicative, effective. She holds Master in degree from York University.