British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised 125 anti-aircraft weapons and different air-defense expertise as he made an unannounced go to Saturday — his first — to Ukraine’s snow-blanketed war-time capital for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The air-defense package deal, which Britain valued at £50 million (€47 million), comes as Russia has been pounding Ukraine’s energy grid and different key infrastructure from the air, inflicting widespread blackouts for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians because the frigid chilly of winter attracts close to.
The package deal consists of radar and different expertise to counter Iran-supplied exploding drones that Russia has used in opposition to Ukrainian targets. It comes on prime of a supply of greater than 1,000 anti-air missiles that Britain introduced earlier this month.
The UK has been one of many staunchest Western supporters of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion, giving Kyiv £2.3 billion (€2.6 billion) in navy support.
Zelenskyy described the 2 nations as “the strongest of allies.”
“With buddies such as you by our facet, we’re assured in our victory. Each of our nations know what it means to face up for freedom,” the Ukrainian chief stated on Twitter.
“The braveness of the Ukrainian folks is an inspiration to the world,” Sunak stated in feedback alongside Zelenskyy within the presidential palace. “In years to come back we are going to inform our grandchildren of your story.”
He pledged that Britain “will stand with you till Ukraine has gained the peace and safety it wants and deserves after which we are going to stand with you as you rebuild your nice nation.”
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who stepped down in July amid a welter of ethics scandals, gained huge reward in Ukraine for his backing.
Sunak is eager to reassure Ukraine’s leaders that there can be no change of stance underneath his management, although when he was UK Treasury chief underneath Johnson he was thought of proof against calls for for larger protection spending.
Throughout his go to to Kyiv, Sunak laid flowers at a memorial for the conflict lifeless and lit a candle at a memorial for victims of a lethal Soviet-era famine in Ukraine within the Nineteen Thirties. He additionally met first responders at a fireplace station.
Sunak stated it was “deeply humbling” to go to Kyiv “and to have the chance to satisfy those that are doing a lot, and paying so excessive a worth, to defend the ideas of sovereignty and democracy,”
Zelenskyy stated “we mentioned crucial points each for our nations and for world safety.”
“Collectively we’re stronger and we are going to obtain the specified outcomes,” he stated on Telegram.
Video that Zelenskyy posted confirmed him greeting Sunak at a presidential palace as snowflakes fell and the 2 males holding talks.