Ukraine will win the war against Russia and can count on the UK’s support, the Foreign Secretary has told the country during his second visit to Kyiv.
The visit comes as the UK prepares to host the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London later this month, which will bring together world leaders, business chief executives, NGOs and the Ukrainian Government to discuss how to rebuild and bolster the country’s economic outlook.
While in Ukraine the Foreign Secretary met President Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to discuss how the UK can continue to best support Ukraine, from the battlefield to banking guarantees.
It is the fourth meeting President Zelenskyy and senior UK ministers have held in as many weeks, with Prime Minister holding bilaterals with President Zelenskyy at the meeting of the European Political Community in Moldova last week, in Japan at the G7 Summit in May, and at Chequers in the UK the week before the Hiroshima meeting.
The Foreign Secretary’s Kyiv visit builds on his engagements in Estonia last week and a meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers in Norway, where he reiterated the UK’s call for Ukraine to join NATO and for the Alliance to be made even stronger with the swift accession of Sweden.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:
“As Ukraine continues its sustained fightback against Russia, I was able to see for myself the true horrors and devastation of what Russia has wreaked on this sovereign state.
“Forcibly deporting children, razing cities like Bakhmut, Izium and Mariupol to the ground and committing atrocities are not the acts of a responsible international state. They are the actions of a hostile regime that is in violation of the UN Charter.
“Ukraine will win this war and can count on our support.”
This is the second time the Foreign Secretary has visited Ukraine since Russia’s illegal invasion, last visiting in November 2022 to discuss the UK’s support for the country. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has also visited the country twice, most recently in May 2023.
During this week’s trip, the Foreign Secretary visited a site that was under Russian occupation for most of March 2022. The farmland site was a part of Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure and since being reclaimed, is now in the process of being demined by the HALO Trust. Demining will help the agriculture sector’s recovery in Ukraine by making large areas of land safe to access again. It is estimated that 30% of Ukraine’s territory (174,000 square kilometres) has been exposed to intense combat operations, and so may be contaminated by landmines and other explosive remnants of war. We have provided HALO Trust with £2.5 million of funding to protect the most at risk communities and help the Ukrainian people take back their land and lives from the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war.
The Foreign Secretary visited a pioneering rehabilitation hospital supporting veterans of the fighting, which makes prosthetics on site. Its work is helping Ukrainians to rebuild their lives. The hospital is just one example of Ukraine’s ability to adapt through technology despite the war.
The Foreign Secretary also met children who were forcibly deported to Russia and listened to some survivors’ accounts at a centre supporting their return to life in Ukraine. Last year, the UK announced sanctions against the Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, for her alleged involvement in the forced transfer and adoption of Ukrainian children. She has since become subject to an International Criminal Court arrest warrant.
The UK has been unwavering in its support for the people of Ukraine as they resist a brutal and unprovoked invasion. Last year the UK provided £2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine – the largest package of support of any European nation and second only to the United States’ support. This includes the delivery of StormShadow missiles to help its military to push back Russian forces based on Ukrainian sovereign territory.
The UK have also pledged £1.5 billion in economic and humanitarian support, which has funded the delivery of more than 11 million medical items.
The Ukraine Recovery Conference will be held in London on 21 to 22 June 2023 and will bring together governments and industry leaders to develop a concerted multi-sector plan to help Ukraine to recover from Russia’s illegal invasion.