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President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the creation of a new “format of political cooperation” involving Ukraine, Poland and the U.K. in his address to Ukraine’s parliament on Feb. 1.
The announcement came amid the ongoing visit of U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki, the country’s second-highest official behind President Andrzej Duda.
According to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the new trilateral partnership will strengthen security and develop trade and readiness for concrete action.
"Warsaw, Kyiv and London don’t only understand the threats to European security and have a strategy to counter Russian activity, but also have great potential for trilateral cooperation in trade, investment and energy, including renewables,” said Kuleba.
The format’s official announcement was expected to be made by U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Feb. 2, but this was delayed to an unspecified date after she tested positive for Covid-19, said Kuleba.
He added that the initiative had been proposed by Ukraine in October and that the format was not limited by geography. All countries with shared trade and security goals are welcome to join, Kuleba said.
In his speech, Zelensky praised Ukrainian diplomatic efforts and told the assembled lawmakers that the prime ministers of the U.K., Poland, the Netherlands, and the president of Turkey were all visiting Kyiv this week.
“This intensity of visits is a serious factor in the stabilization of the domestic situation in our country,” said the president.
Over the past month, amid the ongoing Russian military escalation, Poland and the U.K. began providing substantial military and financial aid to Ukraine.
The Polish government has approved providing Ukraine with air defense weapons, adding that several dozens of projectiles could be transferred “within the next several days.”
“A decision was made to transfer munitions of defensive, rather than of offensive, nature to the Ukrainian party,” said Pawel Soloch, the leader of Poland’s National Security Bureau.
The U.K. provided Ukraine with 2,000 NLAW systems, the short-range anti-tank missile launchers, as part of the U.K.’s updated assistance package.
Ukraine is also set to receive an additional $120 million in foreign aid from the United Kingdom in support of Ukraine’s “stable governance” and “energy independence”, according to a press release from Johnson’s office on Feb. 1.
Meanwhile, on Jan. 27, Ukraine’s parliament ratified a deal to get a loan worth $2.3 billion (1.7 billion pounds) from the United Kingdom and procure warships and key naval infrastructure.