PM’s call with President Zelensky of Ukraine

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at 10 Downing Street. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this afternoon (16 April 2022).

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the bravery of Ukrainian forces who continue to valiantly defend their country’s freedom.

President Zelensky updated the Prime Minister on the situation in Mariupol, and the Prime Minister said he saluted Ukrainian resistance in the city.

The pair discussed the need for a long-term security solution for Ukraine, and the Prime Minister said he would continue to work closely with allies and partners to ensure Ukraine could defend its sovereignty in the weeks and months to come.

The Prime Minister updated President Zelensky on new sanctions from the UK that came into force last week, and said the UK would continue to provide the means for Ukraine to defend itself, including armoured vehicles in the coming days.

Sanctions imposed by the UK and its international partners are having deep and damaging consequences for Putin’s ability to wage war.

Analysis shows Russia is heading for the deepest recession since the collapse of the Soviet Union with £275 billion – 60% of Russian foreign currency reserves – currently frozen.

The Prime Minister said international support for Ukraine only grew stronger and that he remained convinced Ukraine would succeed and Putin would fail.

Earlier this month the Ukrainian President heaped praise on Prime Minister Boris Johnson after his surprise visit to Kyiv where he set out a new package of financial and military aid.

The Prime Minister made the visit to Kyiv to demonstrate the UK’s steadfast solidarity with Ukraine and hold in-depth discussions with President Zelensky on military and economic assistance.

Mr Johnson reiterated that the UK will do everything in its power to support Ukraine’s brave fight against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion and ensure its long term security and prosperity.

The Prime Minister set out new military assistance of 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems, to support Ukraine in this crucial phase while Russia’s illegal assault continues.

This is in addition to the £100 million worth of high-grade military equipment announced earlier this month, including more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles, and high-tech loitering munitions for precision strikes.

The Prime Minister also confirmed further economic support, guaranteeing an additional $500m [£385m] in World Bank lending to Ukraine, taking the UK’s total loan guarantee to up to $1 billion. This comes alongside the £394m the UK has provided in grant aid, and will help ensure the continued running of vital humanitarian services for Ukrainians.

The UK has responded to the request of the Ukrainian government by liberalising tariffs on the vast majority of imports from Ukraine and providing customs easements, as part of our commitment to the country’s economic stability.

On his visit to Ukraine earlier this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed back Russian forces from the gates of Kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.

It is because of President Zelenskyy’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted.

I made clear today that the United Kingdom stands unwaveringly with them in this ongoing fight, and we are in it for the long run.

We are stepping up our own military and economic support and convening a global alliance to bring this tragedy to an end, and ensure Ukraine survives and thrives as a free and sovereign nation.

Writing after their meeting, President Zelensky said:

“The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson is one of the most principled opponents of the Russian invasion, a leader in sanctions pressure on Russia and defense support of Ukraine.”

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