Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the UK government will deliver further military aid in the form of much-needed defence equipment to Ukraine in its struggle against Russia.
Johnson said Britain would give more mobility vehicles, drones, and anti-tank weapons in one of several regular phone discussions between the two leaders on Saturday, as he criticised continuous Russian attacks on civilian targets in Mariupol, Odessa, and Lviv.
He also informed Zelensky on new UK sanctions levied against Russian military personnel and stated that the UK’s embassy in Kyiv would reopen next week as a sign of “support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”
“The Prime Minister confirmed that the United Kingdom is increasing its defensive military assistance, including protected mobility vehicles, drones, and anti-tank missiles.” In a summary of the call, a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said, “President Zelenskyy thanked the Prime Minister for the training of Ukrainian military troops presently taking place in the UK.”
“The Prime Minister stated that Russia will be held accountable for its conduct, and that the United Kingdom was assisting in the collection of evidence of war crimes.” He also informed the President of additional UK sanctions against Russian military personnel and confirmed that the UK would reopen its embassy in Kyiv next week, demonstrating our support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” according to the spokeswoman.
In the coming week, both President Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Johnson and Zelensky agreed ahead of scheduled meetings on the significance of establishing a truce and humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to flee Mariupol.
“The Prime Minister stated that Russia will be held accountable for its conduct, and that the UK government would assist in the collection of evidence of war crimes,” according to Downing Street.
“Both leaders discussed how the UK will work with partners to develop a long-term security solution for Ukraine,” the statement continued. “The Prime Minister noted the discussions taking place with international partners to provide additional financial support, including at the G7 Finance Ministers’ meeting last Wednesday.”
Johnson received an update from Zelensky on the situation in the Donbas, where Russia is now focusing its military operations in a battle that erupted in February.
Later on Saturday, Zelensky stated he was “happy” with the degree of military help coming from the UK at a press conference in a Kyiv metro station.
“We want more than we’re getting,” he told reporters, “but we’re satisfied.”
“During the war, we cannot deny or reject anything from the two largest sources of military aid, the United States and the United Kingdom. There are many additional European friends, but I’m talking about significant assistance, for which I am grateful “he stated.