Ukrainian President Zelensky on surprise visit to Britain as he asks for more military aid after UK supplied long-range Storm Shadow missiles
Volodymyr Zelensky has flown to the UK to meet Rishi Sunak ahead of a “crucial” week in the fight against Russia.
Ukraine’s president has arrived for a surprise visit which will see him hold “substantive talks” with the prime minister at his Checkers country residence.
Mr Zelensky was in Paris for talks with Emmanuel Macron yesterday following a summit with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Aachen this week-end.
Mr Sunak is set to push for more support for Kyiv when he attends the G7 meeting in Japan and the Council of Europe in Reykjavik later this week.
The Prime Minister has promised to send a “message of solidarity” as Ukraine tries to drive out Vladimir Putin’s invading forces, saying it is in “all our interests” that Mr Zelensky succeeds.
Today’s talks come after the UK became the first country to supply long-range precision missiles to Ukraine.
The Storm Shadow cruise missiles, accurate beyond 150 miles, will play a key role in the country’s long-awaited counter-offensive against the Russian occupiers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) is greeted by French President Emmanuel Macron (c) upon his arrival at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris yesterday
Mr Zelensky last came to the UK in February, when he addressed both Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall.
Mr Sunak said the UK would “continue its support” for Ukraine.
The Prime Minister said: “This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression which it neither chose nor provoked.”
“They need the sustained support of the international community to defend themselves against the deluge of relentless and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year.
“We must not let them down.
“The front lines of Putin’s war of aggression may be in Ukraine, but the fault lines stretch around the world. It is in all of our interests to ensure that Ukraine succeeds and that the barbarity of (Vladimir) Putin is not rewarded.
“That’s why the UK continues to support Ukraine – from tanks to training, munitions to armored vehicles.” And that message of solidarity will resonate loudly in all of my meetings with other world leaders in the days ahead.