Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked London for its leading role in Western support for Ukraine on Friday, during a visit to Kyiv by British Defense Minister Ben Wallace.
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“Words turn into actions. This is what makes the difference between the relations between Ukraine and Great Britain and those between Ukraine and other countries,” said the Ukrainian president, in an apparent pique against other European countries, although he did not name any.
“Weapons, finances, sanctions: in these three files, Great Britain shows its leadership”, continued Mr. Zelensky in a video published on his Telegram account.
While Ukrainians are asking Westerners for heavy weapons to resist a powerful Russian offensive in the Donbass - and in particular in the key city of Severodonetsk - Ben Wallace hailed the "extraordinary" effort made by the President and the Ukrainian people to resist the Russian invasion.
The two-day working visit aimed to hear first-hand “how the operational needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are evolving as the nature of the conflict continues to change,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
“This will ensure that continued UK support evolves with these needs and is adapted to the situation on the ground,” the department added.
Ben Wallace also discussed with Mr. Zelensky and his Minister of Defense Oleksiï Reznikov "the equipment and training that the United Kingdom is currently providing, and what additional support could be offered to help Ukrainian forces defend their country", always according to the Ministry.
In the wake of Washington, London announced the delivery of multiple rocket launcher systems - with a range of about 80 km, slightly greater than the Russian systems - but it is unclear when the Ukrainians will be able to start using them.
This visit also comes the day after the announcement of the death sentence of two Britons who had joined the Ukrainian forces by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun, taken prisoner in Ukraine while fighting alongside the Ukrainians, were sentenced to death on Thursday by the separatist authorities in Donetsk.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "appalled" by the sentence, Downing Street said on Friday, saying he is working with Kyiv for their release.