The new head of British diplomacy, David Cameron, promised Thursday that London will continue to do so. help Ukraine "all the time it takes", when" kyiv pleads for continued Western support despite the crisis the crisis in the Middle East and its difficulties on the front.
President Volodymyr Zelensky received Mr Cameron, on a surprise visit to kyiv for his first trip abroad since his appointment on Monday. The British minister then traveled to Odessa, in the south.
“It’s a huge honor to meet you,” David Cameron said, according to a video released by the Ukrainian presidency. “I wanted this to be my first visit, I admire the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people,” he added.
“We will continue to provide you with the moral, diplomatic, economic, but above all military support, which you need not only this year, and next year, but also for as long as it takes “, assured the British official.
This message comes at the right time for Ukraine, which is mobilizing so that the massive assistance from Europe and the United States continues and so that weariness does not take over after almost two years of war, especially that in the West voices are being raised to demand a reduction in support for Kiev.
President Zelensky thanked Mr Cameron for his visit, as the attention of Western powers is no longer focused solely on Ukraine since the outbreak on October 7 of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza.
The president Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky (3rd l) and the new head of British diplomacy David Cameron (3rd d), during a meeting in Kiev © Ukrainian Presidency – Handout
“You know that the world is not focused on the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine (…) because of the crisis” in the Middle East, he noted.
“Russia thinks (…) that the West will end up focusing its attention elsewhere” than on Ukraine, “there is nothing further from the truth,” insisted Mr. Cameron, whose country is the second largest donor military aid to Ukraine, with 4.6 billion pounds (5.3 billion euros) pledged to date.
– Maritime protection –
The negotiations with the British delegation focused on deliveries of “weapons for the front line, the strengthening of air defense, the protection of our population and our essential infrastructure”, detailed Mr. Zelensky on Telegram.
Ukraine establishes positions on the bank of the Dnieper under Russian control © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Paz PIZARRO
Ukraine is seeking to strengthen its air defenses as winter approaches, expecting a new campaign of Russian attacks on its energy network. Last winter, millions of Ukrainians were deprived of heat or electricity in freezing temperatures.
In Kiev, Mr Cameron was also briefed on the military situation. The front has been virtually frozen for a year, despite the launch of a Ukrainian counter-offensive in June.
He then went to Odessa to discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kouleba, in particular on the insurance mechanism established by Kiev with British insurers for ships exporting Ukrainian grain.
“This measure is essential for Ukraine's export earnings and economic recovery,” said David Cameron, quoted by Ukrainian diplomacy.
Volodymyr Zelensky, in a video, was pleased to provide a “protection to the western part of the Black Sea, which now allows our maritime export corridors to function.”
– “Very tense” in Avdiïvka –
On the ground, the head of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zalouzhny, admitted in early November that the two armies were currently “at an impasse”.
Kiev's troops, however, recently succeeded in establishing positions on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the part of the Kherson region (south) occupied by the Russian army. A breakthrough in this sector would be a significant success.
But Kremlin forces are not to be outdone, bombing in the south and attacking in the east.
A Ukrainian soldier monitors an area of the Dnieper River, in the Kherson region, November 6, 2023 ©  ;AFP – Roman PILIPEY
In Kherson, capital of the eponymous region taken over by Kiev in November 2022 and bombarded daily by the Russians, a man was killed and a woman injured Thursday morning, according to regional authorities.
On the eastern front, the Russian army has stepped up its assault on the town of Avdiïvka, which it seeks to encircle, its mayor, Vitaly Barabach, said on Thursday, reporting a “situation” very tense.”
The Ukrainian Air Force also announced that it had shot down 16 explosive drones out of a total of 18 launched by Russia during the night.
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