British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Ukrainian President Tweeterwhich included a photo of the two leaders shaking hands.in Kyiv on Saturday. Johnson confirmed the visit in a
“Today I met my friend President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv to show our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” he said. “We are putting in place a new program of financial and military assistance that demonstrates our commitment to his country’s fight against Russia’s barbaric campaign.”
The 10 Downing Street YouTube account shared a video of the two speaking after they met.
Zelenskyy said he was grateful for the Prime Minister’s visit, calling it an important meeting in “very difficult and turbulent times for our country”.
“At the same time you have come here, and we are particularly grateful that this is happening. It is a true reflection of the UK’s decisive and significant support for Ukraine and we are always grateful for it – we will remember it always,” Zelenskyy said, according to a Downing Street translation of his speech.
The Ukrainian president confirmed that the two men spoke of the need for new sanctions against Russia, as well as continued support for Ukraine’s defence, from the UK as well as the rest of the West.
In his remarks, Johnson said, “Thank you so much for inviting me here today during this incredibly difficult time for you and for your wonderful country.”
Johnson said the intelligence the UK had at the start of the Russian invasion suggested kyiv would quickly fall to Russian forces – and they were wrong. “I think the Ukrainians showed the courage of a lion. But you, Volodymyr, gave that lion’s roar. Thank you for what you were able to do – I think your leadership was extraordinary. “
Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin had committed war crimes and that as his forces stumbled he would “step up the pressure in Donbass and to the east”. The Prime Minister called the need to support Ukraine “so vital”.
“Together with our partners, we will increase economic pressure and we will continue to escalate sanctions against Russia week after week,” Johnson said. He also pledged aid for defense systems, including demining the country.
Johnson said he saw much of the “magnificent” country of Ukraine during his visit. “I also saw the tragic effects of war – inexcusable war – absolutely inexcusable and unnecessary war,” he said.
“But being here in Kyiv for only a few hours… I have no doubt that an independent and sovereign Ukraine will rise again, thanks, above all, to the heroism, the courage of the Ukrainian people,” he said. he adds. he said.
Ukrainian Embassy in London tweeted a photo of the two leaders during their talks on Saturday with the caption “surprise”.