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Zelensky meets with UK Defense Minister

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 28, 2023 2:20 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) meets with U.K. Defense Minister Grant Shapps on Sept. 28, 2023 in Kyiv. (President Volodymyr Zelensky/Facebook)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky met with recently appointed U.K. Defense Minister Grant Shapps in Kyiv on Sept. 28, the president announced on social media.

Shapps, who previously served as the U.K. Energy Secretary, was appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Aug. 31, replacing the outgoing Defense Minister Ben Wallace, who had held the position since 2019.

It was Shapps' second visit to Kyiv and his first in his new role as defense minister. In addition to meeting with Zelensky, Shapps also participated in talks with other Ukrainian officials, including his Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, also recently appointed.

In a post on Facebook, Zelensky called the meeting "substantial," and thanked the U.K. for its "significant financial, defense, and humanitarian support for Ukraine."

Shapps emphasized in a post on Twitter that the support of the U.K. for Ukraine "remains unwavering."

The outgoing minister Wallace has been credited for playing a key role in Britain's response to Russia's war in Ukraine. Shapps previously thanked Wallace for his "enormous contribution" to the war effort.

The United Kingdom spent 2.3 billion British pounds (about $2.9 billion) on defense assistance to Ukraine last year and has committed the same amount in 2023.

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