Zelensky thanks Britain throughout his second abroad journey since Russia’s invasion.


LONDON — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made a shock go to to Britain on Wednesday morning, welcomed with a hug at Stansted Airport by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who introduced plans to broaden British army help for Ukraine to incorporate coaching its pilots in NATO fighter jets.

In a speech to Parliament, Mr. Zelensky, wearing his acquainted drab inexperienced sweatshirt and talking in English, thanked Britain for its army help “on behalf of our warriors who are actually within the trenches below enemy artillery fireplace.”

“London has stood with Kyiv since Day 1,” he mentioned, including: “We all know that freedom will win.”

Mr. Zelensky is scheduled to fulfill with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace later within the day. Earlier on Wednesday, applause rang out for Mr. Zelensky as he walked into 10 Downing Road with Mr. Sunak, after the 2 leaders shook palms and waved to reporters and onlookers.

The go to by Mr. Zelensky, introduced by Downing Road simply hours earlier than his arrival, is just the second journey the Ukrainian chief has made outdoors his nation since Russia’s invasion final February. In December, he traveled to Washington for a White Home assembly with President Biden and an handle to Congress, and in addition stopped in Poland.

The journey underscores Britain’s position as one of many largest suppliers of weapons to Ukraine — the USA is the most important — and the sturdy public help for Mr. Zelensky by Mr. Sunak and his two predecessors, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson. Each Mr. Sunak and Mr. Johnson traveled to Ukraine to fulfill with Mr. Zelensky, though Ms. Truss, whose tenure because the British chief lasted a little bit over six weeks, by no means made the journey as prime minister.

Mr. Zelensky is predicted to journey to Brussels on Thursday for conferences with European Union leaders.

Britain is sending Ukraine 14 Challenger 2 battle tanks, in addition to artillery and 1000’s of rounds of ammunition, a pledge that it made a number of weeks in the past, partly to prod a reluctant Germany and the USA to comply with go well with. These two governments have now additionally promised to ship battle tanks, which army analysts say will fortify Ukraine’s capacity to retake Russian-occupied territory within the face of an anticipated Russian spring offensive.

To this point, Mr. Sunak, just like the Biden administration, has resisted calls to ship fighter jets to Ukraine for worry that they’d escalate the confrontation with Russia. However Mr. Johnson, on a go to to Washington final week, referred to as for Britain and the West to do no matter it takes — together with supplying jets — to allow Ukraine to push again Russian troops.

It was not instantly clear if Britain’s plan to coach pilots signaled a change in its stance on jets, although that might be in step with the British authorities’s technique of being within the vanguard of Western army help for Ukraine.

Britain has already educated 10,000 Ukrainian troops, together with troopers who arrived final week to learn to function the Challenger tanks. Along with pilots, Britain mentioned it might start to coach Ukrainian marines.

In a press release, Mr. Sunak mentioned that increasing the coaching to marines and fighter jet pilots “underlines our dedication to not simply present army gear for the brief time period, however a long-term pledge to face shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine for years to come back.”

The British authorities additionally introduced new sanctions focusing on the Russian army and loyalists of President Vladimir V. Putin, with the goal of “undermining his battle machine to assist Ukraine prevail,” the British overseas secretary, James Cleverly, mentioned in a press release.

The checklist consists of a number of corporations that help Russian army operations: CST, a drone producer; RT-Komplekt, which produces helicopter elements; Oboronlogistics, which helps transport army gear; Universalmash and Lipetsk, two corporations that manufacture elements for antiaircraft missile techniques; and Topaz, a software program firm concerned in army aviation. 5 people have been additionally added to the sanctions checklist for obvious ties to Mr. Putin’s residences.

Megan Specia contributed reporting.

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