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UK and EU pledge more support for Ukraine when Boris Johnson visits Kyiv

The UK and EU pledged more financial support to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia and rebuild after the conflict, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

During a previously unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital on Saturday, Johnson said Zelensky “had the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.”

He said Britain will send 120 armored vehicles, anti-ship missile systems and other economic support to Ukraine, and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes in the Ukrainian territories that overran Moscow’s troops.

Speaking in Kyiv, which was almost surrounded by Russian troops a few weeks ago, Johnson said it was clear that Putin “has suffered defeat, but his withdrawal is tactical and he will now step up the pressure in the Donbass and the east.” “.

The Ukrainian military has warned that Russian troops are regrouping and preparing an offensive in the east. authorities of Ukraine have pushed Evacuate civilians in the Donbass region and around the city of Kharkiv.

After their meeting, Zelenskyi called Johnson “one of the most principled opponents of the Russian invasion, a leader in sanctions pressure on Russia and defense support for Ukraine.”

The trip and announcement came days after The Ukrainian President pleaded with the international community to provide more military supplies and impose tougher sanctions on Russia, as its foreign minister said he had a demand on NATO: “arms, arms and more arms.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a tweet that Johnson was “the first G7 leader to arrive in Ukraine since the beginning of the great war.”

Johnson said the UK would increase its World Bank loan guarantee to Ukraine to €1bn.

The support comes on top of the £100million in military equipment the UK announced on Friday, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, body armor and helmets for Ukraine’s armed forces.

“We are increasing our own military and economic support and are convening a global alliance to end this tragedy and ensure Ukraine survives and prospers as a free and sovereign nation,” he said.

Hours earlier, also in Kyiv, Zelenskyi met with Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer to discuss what the Ukrainian President called Wien’s “full support for Ukraine’s future membership of the European Union family” and “a strong sanctions policy against Russia”. .

Meanwhile, the European Commission has pledged €1 billion to a €9.1 billion fund to help Ukraine and other countries hosting war refugees.

The additional financial support from Brussels is part of an international fundraising effort that has attracted €4.1 billion in contributions from governments, companies and individuals, and €5 billion in loans and grants from European public financial institutions.

The commission said it would allocate €600 million to support internally displaced people in Ukraine and €400 million to frontline states hosting Ukrainian refugees.

“And there will be more to come,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “As soon as the bombs stop falling, we will help the people of Ukraine to rebuild their country.”

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, almost 4.5 million people have fled Ukraine since the conflict began, including more than 2.5 million in Poland. Another 7.1 million became internally displaced.

On Friday, the IMF announced that it has opened an account to funnel donor funds to Ukraine as nations opposed to Russia’s invasion seek to put further pressure on Moscow.

The account will receive grants and loans “aimed at helping Ukraine meet its balance of payments and fiscal needs and help stabilize its economy,” the IMF said.

https://www.ft.com/content/2f68aa42-689c-498d-b216-4b8b20985428 UK and EU pledge more support for Ukraine when Boris Johnson visits Kyiv

Adam Bradshaw

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