LONDON—Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy embarked on an unexpected trip to the United Kingdom, where he had a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Chequers. This visit comes in the wake of Zelenskyy’s visits to Paris, Berlin, and Rome, where he sought increased military support for Ukraine in preparation for its highly anticipated spring counteroffensive against Russian forces. Prior to his arrival in the UK, Zelenskyy engaged in talks with President Macron in France, aiming to secure essential weaponry from Western countries to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities. This marks Zelenskyy’s second visit to the UK this year, and he expressed his intention to engage in substantive negotiations during his stay.

The UK’s support for Ukraine is now taking to the skies. President Zelenskyy flew into the country to meet with Prime Minister Sunak, who pledged additional military assistance, including the establishment of a new UK flying school to train Ukrainian pilots in operating Western fighter jets. Sunak affirmed that the UK would play a crucial role in a coalition of nations providing support to Ukraine.

Furthermore, Sunak confirmed that hundreds of air defense missiles and new long-range attack drones would be delivered to Ukraine. Zelenskyy expressed optimism about the formation of this coalition, stating, “We want to create this coalition, and I am very positive about it. We have discussed it, and I believe you will hear some very important decisions in the near future. However, we need to work on it a bit more.”

The United Kingdom is now becoming significantly involved in the ongoing conflict. Aside from the United States, the UK has offered more support to Ukraine than any other country, including military training for troops.

15/05/2023. , United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy. President of Ukraine for a bilateral meeting at Chequers. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Sunak emphasized the UK’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, stating, “We are going to be a key part of the coalition of countries that provides support to Ukraine. It’s not a straightforward task, as we have been discussing. The provision of fighter jets, along with Ukraine’s acquisition of long-range cruise missiles, could have a significant impact.”

President Zelenskyy’s visit initiates a crucial week of diplomatic engagements for Prime Minister Sunak. Tomorrow, Sunak is scheduled to travel to Iceland to meet with European leaders, followed by his attendance at the G7 summit in Japan, where he will engage with influential world leaders.

During a State Department press briefing, The Pavlovic Today asked a spokesperson to address the US stance on Sunak’s announcement regarding the UK’s training of Ukrainian pilots to operate Western jets. The Deputy Spokesperson for Blinken stated, “There is an important process in place, involving a number of countries that are providing vital security assistance to our Ukrainian partners. We are unified in our objective to collectively do everything possible to ensure that Ukraine possesses the necessary assets to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Many countries have stepped up by sharing systems and training personnel, and we look forward to further strengthening our partnerships to fulfill our role in this endeavor.”

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