London, Feb 8 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make a rare overseas visit to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, the British government said.
Zelenskyy, who has only left his country on one other occasion since Russia launched its invasion nearly one year ago – a December visit to the United States – is due to address parliament and meet with British prime minister Rishi Sunak, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
The Ukrainian leader is also set to meet with Ukrainian troops undergoing training in the UK.
“President Zelenskyy’s visit to the UK is a testament to his country’s courage, determination and fight, and a testament to the unbreakable friendship between our two countries,” Sunak said in a statement.
“Since 2014, the UK has provided vital training to Ukrainian forces, allowing them to defend their country, protect their sovereignty and fight for their territory.
“I am proud that today we will expand that training from soldiers to marines and fighter jet pilots, ensuring Ukraine has a military able to defend its interests well into the future.”
He added: “It also underlines our commitment to not just provide military equipment for the short term, but a long-term pledge to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine for years to come.”
A Downing Street statement said 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been “brought to battle readiness in the last six months” and that plans were in place to train a further 20,000 by the end of this year.
Ukrainian soldiers arrived in the UK last week to undergo training with Challenger 2 tanks after Sunak announced 14 of the battle vehicles would be sent to Ukraine.
The UK is also poised to announce further sanctions on Russia over its “continued bombardment of Ukraine.”EFE