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The Guardian: Zelensky arrived in London to continue negotiations on the supply of weapons and support for Ukraine in the war

15-5-2023 |

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has arrived in the UK for “substantive negotiations” with the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak.

In an early morning message as he landed in the UK, Zelenskiy confirmed he would “meet my friend Rishi”. He tweeted:

Today – London. The UK is a leader when it comes to expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air. This cooperation will continue today. I will meet my friend Rishi. We will conduct substantive negotiations face-to-face and in delegations.

No 10 confirmed Zelenskiy had arrived in Britain and would meet Sunak at his Chequers country residence in Buckinghamshire.


It also announced further military aid for Ukraine in the form of hundreds of air defence missiles and long-range attack drones with a range of more than 200km.

“Today the prime minister will confirm the further UK provision of hundreds of air defence missiles and further unmanned aerial systems including hundreds of new long-range attack drones with a range of over 200km,” the UK government said in a statement.

“These will all be delivered over the coming months as Ukraine prepares to intensify its resistance to the ongoing Russian invasion.”

The visit is part of a tour of several key European allies ahead of an expected major Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russian forces.

Sunak has said the UK will be “sustaining” its support Ukraine as he prepared to meet Zelenskiy.

In a statement, he said: “This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke. They need the sustained support of the international community to defend against the barrage of unrelenting and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year.

“We must not let them down. The frontlines of Putin’s war of aggression may be in Ukraine but the fault lines stretch all over the world. It is in all our interest to ensure Ukraine succeeds and Putin’s barbarism is not rewarded.

“That is why the UK is sustaining our support to Ukraine – from tanks to training, ammunition to armoured vehicles. And this message of solidarity will ring loud in all my meetings with fellow world leaders in the days ahead.”

Last week, Britain became the first country to start supplying Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, which will allow its forces to target Russian troops and supply dumps deep behind the frontlines.

That decision was warmly welcomed by Zelenskiy as a “significant enhancement” of Ukraine’s efforts in the war.

His visit comes ahead of a G7 gathering in Hiroshima, Japan, later this week that will be attended by Sunak.

Source: The Guardian