Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky has thanked UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his «strong support» in recent months for the Ukrainian authorities and people in dealing with the Russian invasion and expressed «regret» over his resignation.
The two leaders held a telephone conversation on the same day that Johnson announced that he will resign as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party. «You’re a hero, everybody loves you,» Johnson told Zelenski, according to Downing Street.
The British premier assured his ally that support for Ukraine is shared by the different parties in the United Kingdom and will continue with or without him in Downing Street, also in the area of defense.
Johnson, in fact, included words on Ukraine in his farewell speech to the nation, in which he assured that «the British people will continue to support Ukraine in its struggle for freedom for as long as necessary».
«We have all heard the news (of the resignation) with sadness. Not only me, but the whole Ukrainian society,» Zelenski told him during the call, according to the version provided by the office, which applauded Johnson’s «charisma and personal leadership».
The Ukrainian leader also reminded that relations are built between states «no matter what happens in the circles of power in London», stressing the importance of the UK’s unchanged support for Ukraine.
«The UK’s role in protecting freedom is truly global. And while this is a reflection of the position of British society, the leadership and charisma of the head of state are always of particular importance,» Zelenski added in his daily address to the Ukrainian population.
Zelenski also confessed that he is not surprised that Ukrainians feel «personal gratitude to Boris» because of the British support to Ukraine since the moment when Russia started «the anti-European war».
RUSSIA HAS BEEN PUT ON PROFILE Echoes of Johnson’s resignation have also reached Moscow, although the Kremlin has avoided assessing the news directly. The presidential spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, has assumed, however, that Johnson «does not like» the Russians and that this discomfort is reciprocal, reports the TASS news agency.
Looking to the future, Peskov hopes that «someday» there will be «professional» people in the British government capable of betting on dialogue to solve problems. «However, this possibility is still slim,» he said.