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Boris Johnson shows up in Ukraine, again

Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Kyiv for the second time this year in another strong show of support for Ukraine.

He met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has become a firm ally of the British prime minister since the Russian invasion began, and extended the offer of a new training program for Ukrainian forces.

Speaking Friday, Johnson said he wanted to “send a clear and simple message to the Ukrainian people: The U.K. is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail.”

Zelenskyy said in a video released on Twitter: “Many days of this war have proved that Great Britain’s support for Ukraine is firm and resolute. Glad to see our country’s great friend Boris Johnson in Kyiv again.”

The British prime minister missed a climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden and canceled his planned appearance at a high-profile gathering of Conservative MPs in the north of England in order to make the trip.

Johnson’s appearance follows hot on the heels of a visit by the French, Italian and German leaders this week as the European Commission adopted a recommendation that Ukraine be granted EU candidate status, a first step in the process of becoming a member of the bloc.

Johnson has been accused of being quick to promote his strong relations with Ukraine whenever he faces questions over his own leadership, as he did after receiving a police fine for breaking COVID lockdown rules.

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