Boris Johnson’s resignation will not affect UK support for Ukraine – experts

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Resignation of Boris Johnson as prime minister should not materially affect UK support for Ukraine, even as the war against Russia drags on and costs continue to pile up.

“As far as British policy is concerned, we believe it remains unchanged,” former infrastructure minister Vladimir Omelyan told Fox News Digital. “Regardless of who comes to the post of prime minister, he or she will pay equal attention to the international agenda.”

Johnson on Thursday announced his intention to step down from the top post after growing calls for his resignation within his own party, and as dozens of ministers left his government over a series of scandals that led to a “loss of confidence” from public.

FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands in this image provided by the Presidential Press Office as they walk through central Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 9, 2022.  When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no confidence this week, at least one other world leader shared his relief.  This was stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. "great news" what "we have not lost a very important ally." (Press Service of the President of Ukraine via AP, file)

FILE – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands in this image provided by the Presidential Press Office as they walk through central Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 9, 2022. When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no confidence this week, at least one other world leader shared his relief. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “great news” that “we have not lost a very important ally.” (Press Service of the President of Ukraine via AP, file)
(Press Service of the President of Ukraine via AP, file)

But with Johnson’s resignation comes fear that Ukraine has lost one of its most staunchest allies: only perhaps President Biden has remained so vocal. committed to the defense of Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.

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Johnson made two separate visits to Kyiv, including one immediately after Russia’s withdrawal from the capital, in a show of support and confidence in Ukraine’s achievements. the first visit was applauded from all sides for the courage of Johnson to go into the war zone.

But British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Thursday assured Ukraine that the UK would remain “completely behind” Kyiv despite Johnson’s resignation.

“The UK’s assistance to Ukraine does not come from one person,” Wallace told Sky News. “Not me, not the Prime Minister. It’s all efforts.”

“Action matters in all of this and although the prime minister will be incredibly sad to leave this post, he has led Ukraine from the front, as he did with Covid and obviously Brexit, and I think that is not lost. many people. “

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Ted Bromund, senior fellow at the Margaret Thatcher Freedom Center, told Fox News Digital he does not believe the UK will change its stance as the party itself is pushing an anti-Putin stance and agenda that will not go away with Johnson.

“You must bear in mind that, as you know, Great Britain Russian murders on their own landhas a long history of deploying troops to the Baltic countries to support the NATO mission, he argued. to the point of opposing the Russians.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday 9 March 2022.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday 9 March 2022.
(Embassy of Ukraine in the UK)

And Ukrainian officials have no doubts about the UK’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, no matter who comes to power. Omelyan said he was “very grateful to Boris Johnson for all the efforts to help Ukraine, and we believe that he was and remains a great charismatic leader.”

“We want to do our best to be with our allies in the first year, and with this great memory and great efforts, I think the old policy will remain the same,” he said. “In Ukraine, we are all very grateful to us and great in difficult circumstances.”

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Support for Ukraine in Europe has faltered. with surveys indicating that after strong solidarity with Kyiv in the first 100 days of the invasion, the public now seems more divided over long-term goals. The European Council on Foreign Relations concluded that most countries would prefer a “peaceful” solution than continue to seek “justice” for Ukraine.

Former Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan joined the Territorial Defense Forces on the first day of the invasion.

Former Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan joined the Territorial Defense Forces on the first day of the invasion.
(Vladimir Omelyan)

But Omelyan believes that the threat of Russian aggression against other European countries will force the leaders of these countries to continue to support Ukraine in its defense: French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. visited Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky just last month as a “message of European unity.”

“We understand that this is not about people getting upset or, shall we say, tired,” Omeilan said. “This war in Europe is about the future.”

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“If you remember the first weeks of the war, not all the leaders of the European Union or the European nation were very supportive of Ukraine, but the people were with us,” he added. “The big difference is that the leaders have finally understood the threat posed by Russia and will do their best.”

“Ukrainians are dying, but Europeans are still not dying. I want it never to happen that war comes to the European Union or NATO member countries.”