Boris Johnson promises additional military aid in call to Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Mr Johnson is said to have told the Ukrainian President that he is 'more committed than ever to reinforcing Ukraine and ensuring Putin fails'.

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Boris Johnson has promised to provide additional military aid to Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told him what was needed to defend his country against Russian forces.

In a call on Saturday afternoon, the Prime Minister offered Mr Zelenskyy the UK’s “continued economic and humanitarian support”, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Mr Johnson is said to have told the Ukrainian President that he is “more committed than ever to reinforcing Ukraine and ensuring Putin fails”.

Britain is one of the largest suppliers in Europe of arms to Ukraine, having already sent more than 5,000 anti-tank missiles, 1,360 anti-structure munitions, five air defence systems with more than 100 missiles, and 4.5 tonnes of plastic explosives, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Ukrainian forces have also been using Starstreak high-velocity and low-velocity anti-air missiles supplied by the UK.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Munich Security Conference in Germany where the Prime Minister is meeting with world leaders to discuss tensions in eastern Europe. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Munich Security Conference in Germany where the Prime Minister is meeting with world leaders to discuss tensions in eastern Europe. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022.

Following the call between Mr Johnson and Mr Zelensky, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today, as part of their regular dialogue.

“President Zelenskyy updated on the fierce fighting in Eastern Ukraine and ongoing siege of Mariupol. He set out the equipment needed for the defence of Ukraine.

“The Prime Minister reiterated that he is more committed than ever to reinforcing Ukraine and ensuring Putin fails, noting how hard the Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom.

“He confirmed that the UK will continue to provide additional military aid to give the Ukrainians the equipment they needed to defend themselves.

“The leaders also discussed progress of the UN-led effort to evacuate Mariupol and concern for the injured there. The Prime Minister offered the UK’s continued economic and humanitarian support.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi (not pictured), as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 26, 2022. REUTERS//Valentyn Ogirenko
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news conference with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi (not pictured), as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 26, 2022. REUTERS//Valentyn Ogirenko

“The Prime Minister and President Zelenskyy agreed to remain in close contact on next steps, in coordination with international allies and partners.”

President Zelenskyy tweeted: “I keep in touch with @BorisJohnson. Spoke about the situation on the battlefield and in the blocked Mariupol.

“Discussed defensive support for Ukraine and the necessary diplomatic efforts to achieve peace.”

Later, Mr Johnson tweeted: “I spoke to President @ZelenskyyUa earlier to set out how the UK will continue to provide military and humanitarian aid to give Ukrainians the equipment they need to defend themselves.

“I’m more committed than ever to reinforcing Ukraine and ensuring Putin fails.”