European leaders stream into Ukraine to indicate solidarity

LONDON (AP) — U.Okay. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Saturday joined the stream of European leaders displaying their help for Ukraine by touring to the nation’s capital for face-to-face conferences with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Johnson’s shock go to included a pledge of latest navy help, together with 120 armored autos and new anti-ship missile techniques. This got here a day after he promised to ship a further 100 million kilos ($130 million) of high-grade navy tools to Ukraine, saying Britain needed to assist Ukraine defend itself in opposition to Russian aggression.

Johnson additionally confirmed additional financial help, guaranteeing a further $500 million in World Bank lending to Ukraine, taking Britain’s whole mortgage assure to as much as $1 billion.

“Today I met my friend President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv as a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” Johnson mentioned on Twitter. “We’re setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country’s struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign.”

The head of Ukraine’s presidential workplace, Andriy Yermak, mentioned “the conversation was rich and constructive,” however supplied no particulars.

An picture of the 2 leaders assembly was posted on-line by the Ukrainian Embassy in London with the headline: “Surprise,” and a winking smiley face.

The bundle of navy support Britain introduced Friday consists of extra Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, one other 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions able to lingering within the sky till directed to their goal.

“Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed back Russian forces from the gates of Kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century,″ Johnson said in a statement. “It is because of President Zelenskyy’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted.”

As Zelenskyy makes a steady spherical of digital appearances to drum up help from lawmakers around the globe, an growing variety of European leaders have determined the time is true to journey to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, for in-person talks. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was in Kyiv on Friday, following earlier visits from the Czech, Polish and Slovenian prime ministers.

Nehammer met with Zelenskyy earlier Saturday and pledged that the EU would proceed to ratchet up sanctions in opposition to Russia “until the war stops.”

“As long as people are dying, every sanction is still insufficient,” he mentioned, including that Austrian embassy employees will return to Kyiv from western Ukraine.

Von der Leyen, who heads the European Union’s govt department, travelled to Warsaw on Saturday to steer a fundraising occasion for Ukraine. She was joined by Polish President Andrzej Duda, with Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showing by video hyperlink.

At the tip of the 90-minute assembly, von der Leyen mentioned 10.1 billion euros ($11 billion) had been raised for Ukrainian refugees.

The occasion was held in Warsaw as a result of greater than 2.5 million of the 4.4 million individuals who have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion started Feb. 24 have entered Poland. Many have stayed, although some have moved on to different nations.

Convened collectively by von der Leyen and Trudeau, the occasion sought to draw pledges from governments, international celebrities and common residents.

It ended with Julian Lennon singing his father John Lennon’s peace track “Imagine,” which he mentioned is the primary time he did so publicly.

Julian Lennon posted on social media that he at all times mentioned he would solely sing the track if it was the “end of the world.” He says it’s the best track to sing now as a result of “the war on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy,” and he felt compelled to reply in essentially the most important approach that he may.


Associated Press Writers Colleen Barry in Milan, Geir Moulson in Berlin and Monika Scislowska in Warsaw contributed.

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