UK’s newly appointed top diplomat makes surprise visit to Ukraine

David Cameron tells Ukraine’s president that London would support Kyiv for ‘however long it takes’.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, welcomes UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, in Kyiv
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, welcomes UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, in Kyiv, Ukraine [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters]

The United Kingdom’s newly appointed foreign secretary, David Cameron, has made a visit to Ukraine to underline British support for Kyiv amid its ongoing war with Russia, according to his office.

The former prime minister, making his first working trip abroad as Britain’s top diplomat, told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that his country would support Ukraine for “however long it takes”.

“I wanted this to be my first visit,” Cameron said. “I admire the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people.”

He was named foreign secretary on Monday in a surprise cabinet reshuffle.

Zelenskyy said he was grateful for Cameron’s gesture, which comes amid Israel’s war in Gaza that he worries has diverted attention from Ukraine’s drawn-out battle with Russia, in its 21st month.

“The world is not so focused on the battlefield situation in Ukraine, and this dividing of the focus really does not help,” Zelenskyy said.

The UK has been a close ally of Ukraine throughout the war, and Cameron told Zelenskyy Britain would continue to be there for moral, diplomatic and military support.

“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.

He added that the UK would work with its allies “to make sure the attention is here in Ukraine”.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Cameron had also engaged in talks on issues related to armaments, arms production, and security in the Black Sea while in Kyiv.

Ukraine did not say when the talks took place. Due to stringent wartime security regulations, the details of foreign dignitaries’ trips are sometimes released late.

As of last month, the UK said it was second to the United States in providing military funds to Ukraine, giving 4.6 billion pounds ($5.7bn) worth of assistance and training 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers on British soil.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies