Boris Johnson makes another surprise visit to kyiv on the day the EU endorses Ukraine’s candidacy | International
Boris Johnson has visited this Friday, for the second time and again by surprise, the capital of Ukraine. The British prime minister has met in kyiv with the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, the same day that the European Commission has announced its support for the country’s candidacy for entry into the EU. Just 24 hours earlier, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy had traveled together to the city of the country at war to show their support for Ukraine’s aspirations to join the club of 27. Johnson countered Brussels with a triple, and just disguised objective: to mark distance in international politics with the EU; reinforce a message of toughness against Moscow, while fueling the suspicion that some European countries are seeking a quick peace with concessions; and expand the image of him in the house of a statesman, in very low hours of his popularity.
A comment full of cruelty, but also suspicion, has been circulating for months in British political gossip: every time Johnson is overwhelmed by his internal problems, he takes Zelensky out for a walk. The military, diplomatic and political support effort of the Government of the United Kingdom to the Ukrainian people is unquestionable, in the form of defensive war material, training programs for its soldiers, humanitarian aid and laws and sanctions against the Russian oligarchs who support the regime of Vladimir Putin. This Friday, the prime minister promised Zelensky that he would redouble military training aid to speed up the response against Russian aggression. Since 2015, the British Army has trained more than 23,000 soldiers in the use of weapons sold to the country, and in war tactics.
“My visit today, in the heat of this war, is intended to send a clear and simple message to the people of Ukraine: the UK is with you, and we will stand by your side until you finally win,” Johnson said in kyiv. “That is why today I have offered President Zelensky a new and extensive military training program that can change the equation of this war, by harnessing the most powerful of all forces: the determination of the Ukrainians to win”, announced the first Minister.
Johnson has hinted in recent days, without making direct accusations, that high prices for oil, gas, grain and even agricultural fertilizers may push some countries to pressure kyiv to strike a peace deal with Moscow. “I know that some argue, not in this country but perhaps elsewhere, that the price of supporting the Ukrainians is becoming too high, and that we should encourage them to give in to pressure from Putin,” the British prime minister said last week. June 9 during a visit to the Lancashire town. “I don’t think we can contemplate that option. Not only because abandoning the Ukrainians would be morally repugnant. They are the victims and they have the absolute right to defend a free and independent country”, he stated.
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