Zelensky thanks UK and declares ‘I am here on behalf of our warriors’
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Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation in Westminster Hall as he addressed MPs. The Ukrainian President thanked Britain for its support, saying he is here in the UK on behalf of Ukrainian “warriors” and “every mother and every father who is waiting for their brave son to come back from the war”.
Mr Zelensky also used his speech to thank former Prime Minister Boris Johnson directly.
He said: “Boris, you got others united when it seemed absolutely impossible”.
He added: “The United Kingdom is marching with us towards the most important victory of our lifetime”.
The Ukrainian President accused Russia of “investing in violence”, through its war in Ukraine.
He called for a special tribunal to punish Russia for its war crimes in Ukraine, saying that “justice is one of ten elements of the peace proposal put forward by Ukraine”.
As Prime Minister, Mr Johnson was widely praised for his response to the Ukraine crisis, with the UK being among the first to provide weapons to support Ukraine in the wake of the invasion.
Alongside other Western allies, the UK under Mr Johnson also imposed harsh sanctions on Russian targets.
Mr Zelensky described UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as an “important ally” and “friend” to Ukraine.
In January, the UK agreed to send next-generation tanks to Kyiv in a bid “to seize on the moment with an acceleration of global military and diplomatic support to Ukraine”, Downing Street said.
But Mr Johnson has called on the West to go further, by donating fighter jets to the war-torn country.
Mr Zelensky used his address to Parliament to urge the UK and the West to provide fighter jets, telling MPs: “Combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”
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