British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Austrian Foreign Minister Karl Nehammer joined the list of European leaders on Saturday who have shown their support for Ukraine by traveling to the nation’s capital to meet in person with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Johnson’s surprise visit included a pledge to send more military assistance, including 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems. This comes a day after Johnson promised to send 100 million pounds ($130 million) of high-grade military equipment to Ukraine after declaring that Britain wanted to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression.
Johnson also confirmed further economic support for Ukraine, an additional $500 million in a World Bank loan, bringing Britain’s loan guarantees to Ukraine to a total of $1 billion.
“Today I met with my friend President @ZelenskyyUa in kyiv as a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “We are launching a new financial and military aid package that is proof of our commitment to the country’s fight against Russia’s barbaric campaign.”
The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said “the conversation was productive and constructive,” but did not elaborate.
An image of the meeting between the two rulers was posted online by the Ukrainian embassy in London with the caption “Surprise” accompanied by a winking smiley face.
The military assistance package Britain announced on Friday includes more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions capable of staying in the sky until directed at a target.
“Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed Russian forces back from the gates of kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of warfare of the 21st century,” Johnson said in a statement. “President Zelenskyy’s resolute leadership, as well as the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people, frustrated Putin’s monstrous goals.”
As Zelenskyy continues his round of virtual presentations to drum up support among lawmakers from countries around the world, a growing number of European leaders have decided the time has come to travel to Ukraine’s capital, kyiv, for face-to-face talks.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited kyiv on Friday after the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia did the same.
Earlier on Saturday, Nehammer met with Zelenskyy and promised that the EU will continue to tighten sanctions against Russia “until the war ends.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.