UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv for a second time!

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On 17 June 2022, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom visited Kyiv for the second time during a full-scale war. Boris Johnson met with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

The Ukrainian Head of State noted that this was the second visit of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to Kyiv since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

“I am very grateful to you for such attention to our nation, to all our people, to our state. And for Britain’s leadership and unprecedented support for Ukraine,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing Boris Johnson during a joint statement to the media following the negotiations in Kyiv.

According to the President of Ukraine, the talks were as substantive as possible, filled with important details. Among the key issues are bilateral relations and the overall situation in Europe and the world.

“First of all, these are two important things – defense and security. We discussed in detail the current situation on the frontline, in our east, in the south of our state, our capabilities in defending Ukraine from the Russian occupiers. We have a common view on how to move towards victory. Because this is exactly the result that Ukraine needs – the victory of our state,” the President stressed.

“My visit today, in the depths of this war, is to send a clear and simple message to the Ukrainian people: the UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” said PM Johnson. “As Ukrainian soldiers fire UK missiles in defence of your nation’s sovereignty, they do so also in defence of the very freedoms we take for granted.”

The UK supports Ukrainian defense

The Prime Minister has offered to launch a major training operation for Ukrainian forces, with the potential to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days. This program, the Prime Minister told President Zelenskyy, would fundamentally change the equation of the war, ensuring the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the resilience they need to be victorious in their fight for enduring peace.

“That is why I have offered President Zelenskyy a major new military training programme that could change the equation of this war –harnessing that most powerful of forces, the Ukrainian determination to win,” said PM.

The UK-led program would train and drill the Armed Forces of Ukraine using battle-proven British Army expertise, allowing them to accelerate their deployment, rebuild their forces, and scale up their resistance as they continue to defend their nation’s sovereignty against Russian invaders. International partners would be invited to host the program if the offer is accepted by Ukraine.

The previous Operation Orbital saw the UK train more than 22,000 Ukrainian personnel from 2015 until the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The new program would train forces outside of the country.

The battle-winning skills taught during the seven-year program enabled Ukrainian forces to launch a ferocious defense against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for understanding the armed needs of Ukraine.

“In particular, we talked about the need to increase the supply of heavy weapons. The main thing today is to provide air defense for Ukraine as well. We started to move in this direction. Russian missiles remain a threat to our people, to the entire territory of Ukraine. The vast majority of Russian missile strikes are conducted by the Russian army against ordinary people, civilian infrastructure – housing, schools, hospitals, universities, transport. This should be one of the priorities for all of us, for our partners – to help protect against Russian missiles. It will be a guarantee of life for people in most of our territory,” the President said.

The UK has already pledged more than £1.3bn in economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine – including more than 5,000 NLAW anti-tank missiles, long-range multiple launch rocket systems, and artillery systems including 155mm Self Propelled Guns.

Financial and economic support

Alongside the training offer, the leaders also discussed how the UK can play a pivotal role in ending the blockade of grain.

Also, the parties touched upon the results of the third meeting in the Rammstein format, where Great Britain facilitated the interests of Ukraine.

In addition, the interlocutors discussed the need for Ukraine for financial and economic support.

“It’s not just finances, we also have a fuel shortage due to the bombing of our refinery, our reserves by the Russian Federation. We also talked about a difficult issue – ensuring preparation for the heating season. I am grateful to Boris for his readiness to help our state,” the President said.

The President said that Russia must bear responsibility for the food crisis it provoked and the food shortage on the world market, which arose due to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports.

“I understand the need to continue financial support for Ukraine, to unblock grain exports that Putin has held hostage in an attempt to deprive the world of food,” said Boris Johnson.

Sanctions

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Boris Johnson raised the issue of increasing sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation.

“I thanked Boris for his personal integrity and leadership in this direction. We also shared our suggestions. We can make sanctions tangible, so that Russia really feels that its aggression, its terrorist actions against Ukraine and against global stability will lead to losses for Russia itself – the aggressor must pay the highest price for this aggression, for this war,” the President said, adding that Russia must also compensate for all the losses of people, communities, and businesses.

The parties also continued to work out security guarantees for Ukraine, which can bring stability not only to Ukraine but also to Europe and the world.

“Of course, we have to increase our cooperation for demining the territory of Ukraine. We started a detailed discussion of this issue. And we are preparing to fill the process of rebuilding our state with practical steps. We have no doubt that we will win, so we are already preparing to rebuild the country after our victory. Again, I am thankful for the patronage over Kyiv and the Kyiv region undertaken by Great Britain,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

“Ukraine is suffering, the Ukrainian military is suffering, but there are all signs and evidence that Russian troops are under significant pressure, suffering heavy losses, and spending their weapons enormously. In 114 days of the attack on Ukraine, they have not yet achieved the objectives they’ve set for themselves for the first week,” said the Prime Minister.

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