Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Clever promises ‘action, not just words’ to Ukrainian President from UK

The Foreign Secretary has promised Ukraine’s President that the UK will “take action – not just words” in its support for the war-torn nation.

James Cleverly met Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to Kyiv just days after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak traveled to the Ukrainian capital.

He said the UK intends to keep its pledge to offer “tangible” help as words alone “do not keep the lights on” or “defend against Russian missiles”.

It came as Mr Cleverly announced a package of “hands-on” support to help the nation through the winter.

Ukraine’s power grid and other critical infrastructure were hit by Russian strikes, causing blackouts and leaving millions without heat, power or water as temperatures plummeted.

The cabinet minister thanked Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba for welcoming him to the country and tweeted: “Words are not enough. Words won’t keep the lights on this winter. Words will not defend themselves against Russian missiles.

“Britain is not only talking about Ukraine, we are providing concrete support for the defense of Ukraine.”

Mr Kuleba said he was “grateful” for Mr Cleverly’s “valiant visit” and Britain’s “steadfast support” in the “difficult times ahead”.

“Our common goal is Ukraine’s victory, which will restore security and stability to Europe and beyond,” he tweeted.

Mr. Cleverly also shared a photo from his meeting with Mr. Zelensky and addressed him directly.

“President @ZelenskyyUa, Britain supports you with deeds – not just words,” he wrote.

“I promised you that today. The UK intends to keep it.”

Britain will send 35 more emergency vehicles, including 24 ambulances and six armored vehicles, to Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary also announced a further £3million to help rebuild local infrastructure, including schools and shelter, as well as additional funding to support sexual assault survivors.

Mr Cleverly said: “As winter rolls in, Russia continues to seek to break Ukraine’s resolve through its brutal attacks on civilians, hospitals and energy infrastructure. Russia will fail.

“Britain stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine. I announced today a package of practical support for our Ukrainian friends in their struggle, from ambulances to critical support for survivors of sexual violence at the hands of the Russian military.

“I’ve seen firsthand here how the UK’s efforts are helping brave citizens resist and rebuild. Our support will continue until this remarkable country recovers.”

Meanwhile, the UK is providing £5million to a Ukraine-led initiative, channeled through the United Nations World Food Programme, to ship grain to countries most at risk of famine, including Yemen and Sudan.

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: “I am delighted that the UK Government can support President Zelensky’s work to get Ukrainian grain to some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world.

“Global food security is in all of our interests – and supporting Ukrainian farmers and the agricultural sector to continue producing and exporting food in these most challenging circumstances is vital to that security.”

Mr Sunak’s visit to Kyiv last Saturday was accompanied by the announcement of a £50m defense aid package, which includes 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology, to help Ukraine fend off Iranian-supplied drones, including radar and anti-drone equipment.

The prime minister said it was “deeply humbling” to be in the Ukrainian capital and he was “proud” of how Britain has supported the country since the invasion of Moscow began.

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