Johnson visits Kyiv on Ukraine’s Independence Day

Johnson visits Kyiv on Ukraine’s Independence Day


kraine “can and can win this conflict” with Russia, Boris Johnson mentioned as he visited Kyiv to mark the nation’s Independence Day.

The Prime Minister, making his final go to to Ukraine earlier than leaving workplace, mentioned the UK “will proceed to face with our Ukrainian pals” as he set out an extra £54 million package deal of navy help.

Mr Johnson’s go to got here as Ukraine marked 31 years since its independence from Moscow’s rule.

The Prime Minister will go away workplace on September 6, the day after both Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak emerges because the victor within the Tory management contest.

Mr Johnson has fashioned an in depth bond with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and his go to seems meant to exhibit that the hyperlinks between the 2 international locations will proceed as soon as he has left No 10.

“What occurs in Ukraine issues to us all,” he mentioned.

“That’s the reason I’m in Kyiv as we speak. That’s the reason the UK will proceed to face with our Ukrainian pals. I imagine Ukraine can and can win this conflict.”

The Prime Minister used his assembly with Mr Zelensky to set out an extra package deal of navy help, together with 2,000 drones and loitering munitions.

He additionally obtained the Order of Liberty, the very best award that may be bestowed on overseas nationals, for the UK’s assist for Ukraine.

Mr Johnson mentioned: “For the previous six months, the UK has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine, supporting this sovereign nation to defend itself from this barbaric and unlawful invader.

“Right now’s package deal of assist will give the courageous and resilient Ukrainian armed forces one other enhance in functionality, permitting them to proceed to push again Russian forces and battle for his or her freedom.”

The package deal contains 850 hand-launched Black Hornet micro-drones – smaller than a cell phone – which can be utilized to offer stay feeds and nonetheless pictures to troops, significantly vital in city warfare.

The assist additionally contains bigger drones and loitering weapons, which can be utilized to focus on Russian automobiles and installations.

The UK can be getting ready to provide mine-hunting automobiles to function off the coast, with Ukrainian personnel being educated of their use in UK waters within the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace mentioned the UK may “toughen up” its visa circumstances for Russians, however expressed doubt {that a} complete journey ban was the answer.

Mr Wallace’s feedback come as Finland, Estonia and the Czech Republic have known as for Brussels to implement an EU-wide ban on new vacationer visas for Russians to enter the Schengen free journey space as punishment for Russia’s conflict in opposition to Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky had first urged the visa ban in an interview with the Washington Publish earlier this month, saying Russians ought to “stay in their very own world till they modify their philosophy”.

Each the EU and the US have rebuffed Ukraine’s demand to date.

Chatting with the BBC Radio 4’s Right now programme, Mr Wallace mentioned: “I definitely assume we are able to toughen up the circumstances of our visas. I’m not positive whether or not an outright ban is the proper means.

“I feel that’s a matter for the Residence Secretary to take a look at. However I don’t like, and I’m positive none of your listeners like, watching oligarchs’ wives or certainly Russian senior officers’ wives having fun with themselves in Greece or the south of France, or on tremendous yachts world wide whereas their military is committing conflict crimes in Ukraine.”

Regardless of the conflict in Ukraine reaching its sixth month and fears the West could be dropping curiosity, the Defence Secretary appeared optimistic.

On the EU’s resolve, Mr Wallace mentioned “I don’t see any waning” of assist.

“There’s at all times just a few disagreements in regards to the ranges of sanctions, however, basically, the worldwide group is united in opposition to what Putin is doing.”

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer and shadow defence secretary, John Healey (centre proper) meets British troopers at Salisbury Plain (Stefan Rousseau/PA) / PA Wire

Mr Wallace additionally claimed Russia is in a “very fragile place” in the intervening time, explaining its advance could be measured “in metres per week, not miles”.

On whether or not Ukraine is realistically ready to retake the territory that Russia nonetheless holds, Mr Wallace mentioned: “I feel Ukraine is getting itself into that place.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko marked the event by urging UK residents to be “affected person” because the war-torn nation “can not afford to lose your assist”.

“You’re taking part in a vital half on this battle. Ukraine will do what it takes to say victory,” he mentioned.

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer paid a go to to Ukrainian and British Military personnel at Salisbury Plain.

He mentioned: “My mission, my message to the Ukrainian individuals, to our troops, our Nato allies, is that on the problem of defending Ukraine in opposition to Russian aggression, we stand united. We is not going to be divided politically in the UK on this and I’ve been in a position to ship that message first-hand amongst this very, very spectacular coaching.”

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