British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kiev late on Friday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The visit came a day after he announced a further £100million worth of UK military assistance for Kyiv’s forces, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry and so-called ‘suicide drones’.
A No 10 Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister was using the visit to set out a new package of financial and military aid. ‘The Prime Minister has travelled to Ukraine to meet President Zelensky in person, in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people,’ the spokesman said. ‘They will discuss the UK’s long term support to Ukraine and the PM will set out a new package of financial and military aid.’
According to a spokesperson, Britain will send 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems to support Ukraine.
The Kyiv Independent tweeted that the British aid includes Starstreak air defense systems, NLAW anti-tank missiles, Javelin anti-tank systems and other weapons. Following Johnson’s surprise visit to Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky called Johnson “a friend” and “one of the most principled opponents of the Russian invasion.”
Johnson’s visit makes him the first G7 leader to visit Kyiv since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, and follows trips to Kyiv by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday and the visit of the Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer earlier on Saturday.
Canada to send $500 Million to Ukraine
Meanwhile, In her budget speech Thursday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland promised another $500 million ( 300 Million UK Pounds) in military aid as well as other financial assistance to Ukraine. Referring to the sanctions that the West has placed on Russia she said. “But the mutilated people of Bucha, shot with their hands tied behind their backs, have shown us that is not enough,” she said, referring to reports and images of Ukrainian civilians having been tortured and killed by Russian troops.