UK’s Rishi Sunak visits Kyiv – photo report

20 November 2022, 02:22 PM
Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv on November 19 (Photo:Office of the President of Ukraine)

Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv on November 19 (Photo:Office of the President of Ukraine)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Kyiv on Nov. 19 on his first official visit in his new position. Sunak held a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, visited an exhibition of destroyed Russian war equipment in the center of Kyiv and took a photo with the legendary sapper dog Patron.

The timing of the visit was unannounced beforehand — Volodymyr Zelenskyi published a video of a meeting with Rishi Sunak near the Mariinsky Palace at 3:20 p.m. on Nov.19. The leaders of the two countries shook hands and entered the premises of the presidential residence.

In the White Hall of the palace, which since April 2022 is named the White Hall of Heroes of Ukraine, Sunak and Zelenskyy posed for photographs.

Video of day

Zelenskyy and Sunak, together with other officials, then held talks. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, UK Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons and the head of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyy took part. The leaders of the United Kingdom and Ukraine also held bilateral negotiations.

Following the meeting, Zelenskyy and Sunak held a joint press conference.

Main statements:

  • Sunak: The United Kingdom knows what it means to fight for freedom. We stand with you until the end.
  • Sunak: Today we provide new means of air defense... A GBP 50 million defense aid package including 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter Iranian drones.
  • Sunak: We’re stepping up humanitarian support during the cold and harsh winter.
  • Sunak: The United Kingdom also provides humanitarian aid to Ukraine of a total amount of more than GBP 16 million.
  • Sunak: The United Kingdom hopes to host a conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine next year.
  • Sunak: Let us hope that we can end this barbaric war and secure a just peace where there is rule of law, peace and respect for state sovereignty, and that those who have committed war crimes are brought to justice.
  • Zelenskyy: From the first days of the war, Ukraine and the United Kingdom were powerful allies.
  • Zelenskyy: Today we discussed all issues important for our countries and for global security.
  • Zelenskyy: Russian strikes are aimed, in particular, at destroying our energy connection with the energy system of Europe. Therefore, every blow to Ukrainian energy is a blow to the energy security of the entire continent.
  • Zelenskyy on the Ukrainian peace formula: This is an opportunity for our partners to show leadership in the implementation of its points. We discussed today the possibilities for the United Kingdom to become a co-creator of peace in Ukraine and throughout Europe.
  • Zelenskyy on food security and grain export: I believe that together with the United Kingdom we will be able to provide significant assistance to the poorest countries in the world, in particular in Africa and Asia.
  • Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of reaching agreements on security guarantees for Ukraine, as long as Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
  • Zelenskyy on UK's recognition of the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people: This is important right now, when the Kremlin is once again carrying out acts of genocide against Ukrainians.

During his visit, Sunak also got a chance to meet Patron, the famous sapper dog from the State Emergency Service. A photo of their meeting was published by the UK ambassador to Ukraine.

After their talks, Zelenskyy and Sunak laid flowers at the Wall of Memory of the Fallen for Ukraine, which is near the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, and honored the memory of Ukrainian soldiers with a moment of silence.

The UK prime minister also installed a lamp next to the memorial sign to the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-1933, located on Mykhailivska Square.

After that, Zelenskyy and Sunak visited the exhibition of destroyed military equipment of the Russian invaders on Mykhailivska Square.

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