The foreign secretary promised the Ukrainian president that the UK would take “actions – not just words” in its support for the war-torn nation.
James Cleverly met Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Kyiv, just days after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the Ukrainian capital.
He said the UK intended to keep its promise to offer ‘tangible’ assistance, as words alone ‘will not keep the lights on’ or ‘defend against Russian missiles’.
It came as Mr Cleverly announced a ‘hands-on’ support package to help the nation weather the winter.
Ukraine’s power grid and other critical infrastructure have been pounded by Russian strikes, causing blackouts and leaving millions without heat, power or water as temperatures plummet.
Thanking Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba for welcoming him to the country, the Cabinet Minister tweeted: “Words are not enough. Words won’t keep the lights on this winter. Words will not defend against Russian missiles.
“The UK is not just talking about Ukraine, we are providing concrete support for Ukraine’s defence.”
Mr Kuleba said he was ‘grateful’ for Mr Cleverly’s ‘courageous visit’ and the UK’s ‘unwavering support’ during the ‘difficult times’ ahead.
“Our common goal is victory for Ukraine which will restore security and stability in Europe and beyond,” he tweeted.
Mr. Cleverly also shared a photo of his meeting with Mr. Zelensky, speaking directly to him.
“Chairman @ZelenskyyUa, UK backs you with actions – not just words,” he wrote.
“I made this promise to you today. The UK intends to keep it.
The UK will send 35 additional emergency vehicles, including 24 ambulances and six armored vehicles, to Ukraine.
The Foreign Secretary also announced an additional £3million for rebuilding local infrastructure, including schools and shelters, as well as additional funding to support survivors of sexual assault.
Mr Cleverly said: “As winter sets in, Russia continues to try to shatter Ukrainian resolve through its brutal attacks on civilians, hospitals and energy infrastructure. Russia will fail.
“The UK stands with Ukraine. I announced today a set of concrete measures to support our Ukrainian friends in their fight, ranging from ambulances to crucial support for survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by the Russian military.
“I have seen here with my own eyes how the UK’s efforts are helping brave citizens to resist and rebuild. Our support will continue for as long as it takes for this remarkable country to recover.
Meanwhile, the UK is committing £5million to a Ukraine-led initiative through the UN World Food Program 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 help Ukrainian cereals reach some of the poorest and most vulnerable nations in the world.
“Global food security is in all of our interests – and helping Ukrainian farmers and the agricultural sector continue to produce and export food in these most difficult of circumstances is vital to that security.”
Mr Sunak’s visit to Kyiv last Saturday was accompanied by the announcement of a £50million defense aid package including 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to help Ukraine counter drones supplied by Iran, including radar and anti-drone equipment.
The Prime Minister said it was “deeply humbling” to be in Ukraine’s capital and was “proud” of how the UK had supported the country since the Moscow invasion began.
His vocal support in Kyiv sees him following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.