Boris Johnson Goes to Kyiv

Austrian chancellor also visited, as allies promise more aid and support
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2022 3:00 PM CDT
Johnson, Zelensky Meet in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet Saturday in Kyiv.   (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

In what he called "a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an unannounced trip to Kyiv on Saturday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky. While there, Johnson announced a new package of financial and military aid to help fight off the Russian invasion, Axios reports. After the meeting, Johnson praised Zelensky's leadership and Ukrainians' courage. "I made clear today that the United Kingdom stands unwaveringly with them in this ongoing fight," he said, per the Guardian, "and we are in it for the long run."

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also traveled to Kyiv on Saturday for talks with Zelensky, part of a recent series of visits by allies. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was there Friday, per the AP, following visits from the Czech, Polish, and Slovenian prime ministers. After meeting with Zelensky, Nehammer said the EU will step up sanctions against Russia "until the war stops," adding, "As long as people are dying, every sanction is still insufficient." He also said the staff of the Austrian embassy, now in western Ukraine, will return to Kyiv.

Von der Leyen was in Warsaw on Saturday, leading a fundraising event that she said brought in $11 billion in pledges from governments, celebrities, and others for Ukraine. The new assistance announced by the UK includes about 120 armored vehicles, anti-ship missile systems, and $500 million in guaranteed loans from the World Bank for Ukraine. Zelensky has praised the UK's commitment, noting that other NATO nations such as Germany have been less help. Johnson said Saturday that Ukraine has "pushed back Russian forces from the gates of Kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century." (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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