On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. Johnson announced the visit with a tweet that included a photo of the two leaders shaking hands.
“Today I met with President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv to express our unshakable support for the people of Ukraine,” he stated. “We’re putting together a new package of financial and military help as a demonstration of our commitment to his country’s fight against Russia’s brutal onslaught.”
Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for the prime minister’s visit, describing it as a crucial meeting amid “extremely tough and stormy times for our nation.”
“At the same moment, you arrived, which we are quite grateful for. This is a real representation of the United Kingdom’s resolute and considerable assistance for Ukraine, for which we will always be thankful — and for which we will always remember “According to a translation of Zelenskyy’s address by Downing Street.
The Ukrainian president acknowledged that the two discussed the necessity for additional sanctions against Russia, as well as sustained Western backing for the Ukrainian military.
In his remarks, Johnson stated, “Thank you very much for having me here today during this terribly difficult time for you and your magnificent country.”
Johnson said that data gathered by the United Kingdom prior to Russia’s incursion predicted that Kyiv would fall soon to Russian soldiers — and that they were mistaken. “Ukrainians, in my opinion, have displayed the courage of a lion. But you, Volodymyr, have uttered the lion’s roar. I want to praise you for what you’ve been able to do – I think your leadership has been exceptional.”
According to Johnson, Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes and would “intensify the pressure in Donbas and in the east” as his forces falter. The prime minister described the need for assistance to Ukraine as “critical.”
“We’re going to ratchet up the economic pressure with our partners, and we’re going to continue to increase sanctions on Russia week by week,” Johnson added. He also pledged assistance with defensive systems, such as demining the country.
During his tour, Johnson claimed he saw a lot of the “wonderful” land of Ukraine. “I’ve also witnessed the horrible consequences of the war – an unforgivable war — an utterly regrettable and pointless war,” he added.
“But, having just been here in Kyiv for a few hours… I have no doubt that an independent, sovereign Ukraine will rise again, owing, above all, to the heroism, fortitude, and determination of the Ukrainian people,” he stated.