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Sunak meets Zelensky, says UK will be 'key part' of 'fighter jet coalition'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2023 7:34 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at a press conference following their meeting at Chequers, near London, on May 15, 2023. (Ukraine's Presidential Office)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with President Volodymyr Zelensky at his country house near London on May 15 as part of Zelensky's tour of Western partners.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Sunak said, as cited by BBC, that sending fighter jets to Ukraine was "not a straightforward thing," but London would be "a key part of the coalition countries," providing Kyiv with that support.

"We spoke about it, and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some, I think, very important decisions, but we have to work a little bit more on it," Zelensky told reporters.

Sunak said that the U.K. would start basic training of Ukrainian pilots this summer as well as negotiating with other countries on donating fighter jets to Ukraine, according to BBC.

The prime minister also confirmed his country would provide Ukraine with hundreds of air defense missiles and long-range attack drones.

"This is a crucial moment in Ukraine's resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke," Sunak said.

"They need the sustained support of the international community to defend against the barrage of unrelenting and indiscriminate attacks that have been their daily reality for over a year."

Zelensky and Sunak held a two-hour talk, BBC wrote, during the Ukrainian president's second visit to the U.K. since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.

The U.K. is the latest stop in Zelensky's European tour, following meetings with allies in France, Italy, and Germany.

Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will
First it was the tanks, now it’s the fighter jets. As Ukraine braces for another possible major Russian offensive in the upcoming weeks, Western leaders are yet again coming up with a variety of excuses why this time, they cannot justify supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.
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