David Cameron meets Volodymyr Zelensky in first trip abroad as UK foreign minister
The show of support comes as Ukraine watches closely for any sign that vital Western military and financial assistance for Kyiv is flagging
Kyiv, Ukraine — Britain’s foreign secretary David Cameron, on his first trip abroad in his new role, met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and also travelled to the southern port city of Odesa, a regular target of Russian air strikes.
Cameron, a former British prime minister who was appointed foreign minister on Monday, stressed London’s continued support for Ukraine, now in its 21st month of war with Russia and with no end in sight.
“What I want to say by being here is that we will continue to give you the moral support, the diplomatic support ... but above all the military support that you need not just this year and next year, but however long it takes,” Cameron said in a video posted by Zelensky's office on Thursday.
Zelensky thanked Cameron for his visit, which comes amid a conflict in the Middle East that the Ukrainian leader said had drawn global attention away from his country.
“The world is not so focused on the battlefield situation in Ukraine, and this dividing of the focus really does not help,” Zelensky said.
The show of support comes as Ukraine is watching closely for any sign that vital Western military and financial assistance for Kyiv is flagging after its much-vaunted counteroffensive against Russian forces failed to yield a major breakthrough.
Cameron also held talks with Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba who said on social media platform X that Britain “remains steadfast” in backing Ukraine's efforts to counter Russian threats, including in the Black Sea.
Ukraine has sought to carve out a shipping corridor for its seaborne exports after Russia in July withdrew from a UN-brokered deal that had allowed some food exports to flow despite the war.
On Thursday, the second day of his visit to Ukraine, Cameron travelled to Odesa, the country’s major Black Sea port.
“In the last three months, they (Ukraine's forces) have pushed Russia back in the Black Sea and are opening vital sea trade routes for the Ukrainian economy and global food supplies,” Cameron said.
Insurance broker Marsh, Lloyd’s of London insurers and Ukrainian state banks launched a facility to cut the cost of claims for damage to ships and crew transporting grain through the Black Sea corridor.
“This step will be of great importance for Ukraine's export profits and economic recovery,” Cameron was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian foreign ministry.
Since the corridor's launch in August, Ukraine was able to export 4-million tonnes of cargo, Zelensky has said previously.
Cameron also announced financial support to communities directly affected by Russia's invasion and volunteer organisations working in Ukraine.
Britain has been a close ally of Ukraine throughout the full-scale war launched by Russia in February 2022.
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