British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is traveling to the Ukrainian capital to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday in Kyiv. Johnson confirmed the visit to a tweetwhich included a photo of the two leaders shaking hands.

“Today I met my friend President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” he said. “We are preparing a new package of financial and military aid that is a testament to our commitment to his country’s fight against Russia’s barbaric campaign.”

The YouTube account 10 Downing Street shared a video of the two talking after they met.

Zelenskyi said he was grateful for the prime minister’s visit, calling it an important meeting in “very difficult and turbulent times for our country”.

“At the same time you came here, and we are particularly grateful that this has happened. This is a true reflection of the UK’s crucial and significant support to Ukraine, and we are always grateful for that – we will always remember it,” Zelenskyy said, according to a translation of his Downing Street speech.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met on April 9, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met on April 9, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Image from Boris Johnson’s Twitter account

The Ukrainian President confirmed that the two discussed the need for further sanctions against Russia, as well as the UK’s and the rest of the West’s continued support for Ukraine’s defences.

In his speech, Johnson said, “Thank you for having me here today at this incredibly difficult time for you and your wonderful country.”

Johnson said intelligence Britain had at the start of the Russian invasion suggested Kyiv would quickly fall to Russian forces – and they were wrong. “I think that the Ukrainians showed the courage of a lion. But you, Volodymyr, gave the roar of that lion. Thank you for what you have been able to do – I think your leadership has been exceptional.”

Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes and if his forces stumble, he will “step up the pressure in the Donbass and the east.” The prime minister described the need to support Ukraine as “so vital”.

“Together with our partners, we will increase economic pressure and tighten sanctions against Russia week by week,” Johnson said. He also promised help with defense systems, including clearing the country’s mines.

Johnson said he saw a lot of “beautiful” Ukraine during his visit. “I have also seen the tragic effects of war – an inexcusable war – an absolutely inexcusable and unnecessary war,” he said.

“But having only been here in Kyiv for a few hours … I have absolutely no doubt that an independent, sovereign Ukraine will rise again, thanks largely to the heroism and courage of the people of Ukraine,” he said.

Embassy of Ukraine in London tweeted a photo of the two leaders during their discussions on Saturday captioned “Surprise.”

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