Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the UK Monday for a surprise meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Sunak pinned a tweet on his Twitter feed welcoming Zelensky back to the UK with a hug.
“United in action,” the Prime Minister’s office further tweeted. “Last year the UK provided Ukraine with more military support than any country except the US. Today, @RishiSunak and @ZelenskyyUa discussed how we ensure that support is not just here for today, but into the future as well.”
The Prime Minister’s office said it would confirm “hundreds” of air defense missiles and drones to help Ukraine’s war against Russian aggressors later today. Last week, the UK pledged to provide Ukraine with with multiple long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
During a short press conference ahead of their meeting, Zelensky thanked the UK for the support shown to Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion.
“We are thankful from all our hearts, from Ukrainians, from our soldiers, we are thankful,” Zelensky said.
The UK was the fourth stop for the Ukrainian President on a tour of Europe that also included visits to Germany, France and Italy.
While in Berlin on Sunday, Zelensky secured €2.7 billion, or $2.94 billion, worth of weaponry from Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In Paris on Sunday evening, President Emmanuel Macron promised to provide Ukraine with additional light tanks and armored vehicles.
In Rome, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni pledged to support Ukraine’s military efforts “for as long as necessary,” though no financial amount was initially reported from that meeting. Since Russia’s 2022 invasion, Italy has contributed about €1 billion, or $1.1 billion, in military and financial aid to Ukraine, as well as humanitarian assistance.
Zelensky’s whirlwind tour of the European capitals came as Ukraine’s military gears up for an anticipated counteroffensive to retake territory captured by Russia.