The UK government is set to give Ukraine “strategic endurance” by supplying the country with arms and military training in vast measures, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said in his second surprise visit to Kiev since the onset of the war.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday, Johnson confirmed that his government will offer Ukrainian forces a major training program that would have the capacity to train as many as 10,000 soldiers every 120 days.
“I have offered President Zelensky a major new military training program that could change the equation of this war – harnessing that most powerful of forces, the Ukrainian determination to win,” the British premier said.
Confirming vast supplies of lethal arms to Ukraine, Johnson noted that “as Ukrainian soldiers fire UK missiles in defense of your nation’s sovereignty, they do so also in defense of the very freedoms we take for granted.”
Johnson’s offer of further aid to Ukraine comes while the UK is grappling with a financial crisis that has caused Britons to face record-high inflation and unemployment rates.
Meanwhile, Johnson also pledged to “liberate the grain,” which he said is “being held hostage” by Putin.
“We’re going to do everything we can to continue to strengthen the diplomatic coalition of support across the world for Ukraine. We’re going to work together to liberate the grain, as you rightly say, that is being held hostage right now by Putin, depriving people around the world of the food that they need,” he said.
Earlier this month, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also made a secret visit to Ukraine to meet Zelensky and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.
According to the British Ministry of Defense, the meetings focused on the UK continuing to provide Ukraine with “operationally effective lethal aid.”
Britain was the first European country to send lethal aid to Ukraine and has since sent military aid worth more than £750 million, including thousands of anti-tank missiles, air defense systems, and armored vehicles, to Ukraine.