Address by the Prime Minister at a press conference in Kyiv: June 17, 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Volodymyr Zelensky hold a press conference in Kyiv

Thank you for hosting me. It’s great to be back here in Kyiv and to see you, but also to see how life is coming back to the streets, to the cafes, to the restaurants.

It’s much livelier than a few weeks ago when you and I took our impromptu walk, Volodymyr, and that’s a very positive thing. It’s good to see visitors, let me put it this way from other European countries, coming to Kyiv.

But we have to face the fact that just hours away, a barbaric assault continues on entirely innocent people.

Towns and villages are reduced to ruins.

And as you rightly say, Volodymyr, we continue to see the deliberate targeting of civilians – which is unquestionably a war crime.

And in a hideous echo of the past, the illegal deportation of people whom the Russian forces deem insufficiently sympathetic to Putin’s aggression and in these circumstances, we can only salute once again the heroism of the Ukrainian forces, the bravery of your armed forces.

Under these circumstances, Volodymyr, I fully understand why you and your people cannot compromise with Putin.

Because if Ukraine is suffering, if Ukrainian troops are suffering, then I must tell you that everything indicates that Putin’s troops are themselves under acute pressure and they are suffering heavy losses.

Their expenditure on ammunition, shells and other armaments is colossal.

And after our 114 days of attacking Ukraine, they still haven’t achieved the goals they set for the first week.

So Volodymyr, we are here again to emphasize that we are with you to give you the strategic stamina you will need and we will continue to help escalate the sanctions against Putin’s regime.

We will do everything to continue to strengthen the diplomatic coalition in the world for Ukraine.

And I fully understand and understand the need for continued financial support for Ukraine.

We will work together to free the grain, as you rightly say it is currently being held hostage by Putin, depriving people around the world of the food they need.

And of course we will continue, as we have been doing since the beginning, to provide the military equipment, the training that may be necessary to go with this new equipment, so that you – the people of Ukraine, the armed forces of Ukraine, can be able to do what I believe the Ukrainians aspire to do, which is to expel the aggressor from Ukraine.

And it will be time to talk about the future.

And it will be in this context of a free Ukraine that we and other countries will make the commitments and security guarantees that we have so often discussed.

And we will work with you and with our partners to rebuild your wonderful country for the benefit of Ukrainians and, I would say, for the benefit of the entire global economy.

Thank you for inviting me back to Kyiv. Always wonderful to be here. Slava Ukraine.

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