News from Ukraine: President Zelensky hails Boris Johnson for ‘very important’ decision | World | News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month, where he said a Russian incursion was a “clear and present danger”. The UK has provided military aid to Ukraine and sent a limited number of troops to the country for training purposes, but has remained firm that the UK will not commit troops to the country. fight if Russia invades.
During Mr Johnson’s visit, delegates from the Ukrainian Parliament waved a number of flags in gratitude for the support received by NATO countries.
In the display, the Union Jack flag was front and center of the Parliament building, known as the Rada.
Mr Johnson added this week that the UK Embassy in the capital would remain open, saying: ‘One of the things we want to do is show the UK’s continued support for Ukraine, the stability in Ukraine – and I think maintaining our embassy for as long as possible is an important symbol.
Mr Zelensky took to social media on Thursday to say he ‘appreciates’ the ‘support from Britain’, specifically thanking Mr Johnson.
He described how the UK’s choice to support Ukraine was “very important” to the country and called for continued collaboration “to keep the peace”.
It comes as the UK expresses concern over claims by Russia of a military descent into the crisis, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin could prolong the crisis for months.
Ms Truss is due to travel to Kyiv this week, having missed Mr Johnson’s trip due to contracting COVID-19.
She wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “We must not be lulled into a false sense of security by Russia which claims that some troops are returning to their barracks, when in fact the reinforcement of the Russian army shows no sign of slowing down.
READ MORE: Russian media accuses Ukraine of throwing grenades sparking war fears
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed the UK is doubling its military presence in Estonia and sending more tanks and armored vehicles to the Baltic state.
He told Sky News on Wednesday: “What we haven’t seen is evidence of withdrawal claimed by the Kremlin.
“Until we see a proper de-escalation, we should all be cautious about the direction of travel from the Kremlin.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also warned the UK that Russia would retaliate if faced with further sanctions.
He met Ms Truss in Moscow last week, adding later that he was “honestly disappointed” at the lack of progress in the talks.
New sanctions laws, introduced last week, mean others close to the Russian leadership and involved in tensions over Ukraine could face stiff penalties.
The Foreign Ministry said the sanctions will apply “not only to those directly linked to the destabilization of Ukraine, but also to entities affiliated with the Russian government and companies of economic and strategic importance to the government. Russian, as well as their owners, directors and trustees”.
Boris Johnson has reiterated that the UK will adopt a “very, very tough” set of sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion.