Rishi Sunak visited Ukraine yesterday to meet Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, when he announced a new £50 million ($89 million) air defense package to help counter Russian attacks.
The British prime minister arrived in snowy Kyiv and said he was “honoured” to be in the country for his first face-to-face meeting with the Ukrainian president.
A video posted by No. 10 showed the two leaders sharing a warm hug outside the presidential palace before heading inside to meet senior Ukrainian officials and have a one-on-one chat.
As the couple shook hands, Zelensky gestured to the falling snow and said, “You brought us the weather,” to which Sunak replied, “Well, here we go. I have brought my coat for later.
Later, when the couple entered the palace, Sunak seemed to say that he and his wife, Akshata Murthy, “came here several years ago.”
Sunak’s arrival was accompanied by Britain’s promise of a £50m defense aid package, comprising 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to help Ukraine counter Iranian-supplied drones, including radar and anti-drone technology.
His visit comes after a week of heightened tensions between the West and Russia after a missile hit a Polish village near the Ukrainian border, killing two people, raising concerns that Russia had attacked to a NATO member state.
Tensions have since subsided over the likely attribution of the coup to Ukrainian defense forces, but Russian missile attacks on the country have shown no sign of abating.