- Advertisement -

Zelensky visiting the UK for talks with Rishi Sunak TODAY

194

Zelensky visiting the UK TODAY: Ukraine president will meet Rishi Sunak in Downing Street and address MPs on first trip to Britain since Russian invasion – as PM vows to train Kyiv’s fighter jet pilots

  • Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting the UK for the first time since Russian invasion
  • Rishi Sunak is vowing to train Ukraine forces in how to fly Nato fighter jets 

Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the UK today for the first time since Russia invaded.

The Ukraine president is due to hold talks with Rishi Sunak in Downing Street, as the PM pledges to step up training – crucially including fighter jet pilots.

He will also address the Houses of Parliament and visit Kyiv’s troops on the surprise trip.

The training boost could paving the way for Ukraine forces to fly sophisticated Nato-standard jets, a key request by Mr Zelensky. 

Mr Sunak said: ‘President Zelensky’s visit to the UK is a testament to his country’s courage, determination and fight, and a testament to the unbreakable friendship between our two countries.

‘Since 2014, the UK has provided vital training to Ukrainian forces, allowing them to defend their country, protect their sovereignty and fight for their territory.

Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the UK today for the first time since Russia invaded

Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the UK today for the first time since Russia invaded

Mr Sunak travelled to Ukraine to meet Mr Zelensky in November, shortly after becoming PM

Mr Sunak travelled to Ukraine to meet Mr Zelensky in November, shortly after becoming PM 

‘I am proud that today we will expand that training from soldiers to marines and fighter jet pilots, ensuring Ukraine has a military able to defend its interests well into the future. 

‘It also underlines our commitment to not just provide military equipment for the short term, but a long-term pledge to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine for years to come.’

Some 10,000 Ukrainian recruits have been trained in the UK in the past six months. 

UK to train Ukraine fighter pilots 

Ukrainian pilots are to be trained by the UK to fly sophisticated Nato fighter planes in the latest show of support for Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces.

The UK will also offer an intermediate training programme for Ukrainian marines and has promised an ‘immediate surge’ of military equipment including longer-range weapons.

The latest announcements came as President Zelensky made his first visit to the UK since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Downing Street said the Government is following a ‘two-pronged’ approach, with more military kit now to counter a spring offensive by Russia, with long-term support for the future.

Although Ukraine is desperate for fighter jets immediately to counter the Russian air force, the length of the required training means that No 10 has said the pilot programme is a ‘long-term capability investment’.

The training will ensure pilots are able to fly sophisticated Nato-standard fighter jets in the future.

While the UK operates F-35 and Typhoon jets, the older F-16s widely operated by other Nato countries are more likely to be supplied to Ukraine, should Western leaders agree to Mr Zelensky’s requests.

The first troops arrived in Britain last week to learn how to command Challenger 2 tanks, following the PM’s decision to provide the kit.

The government will also announce further sanctions today in response to Russia’s continued bombardment of Ukraine.

No10 said that will include targeting ‘those who have helped Putin build his personal wealth, and companies who are profiting from the Kremlin’s war machine’.

Ukrainian pilots are to be trained by the UK to fly sophisticated Nato fighter planes in the latest show of support for Mr Zelensky’s forces.

The UK will also offer an intermediate training programme for Ukrainian marines and has promised an ‘immediate surge’ of military equipment including longer-range weapons.

Downing Street said the Government is following a ‘two-pronged’ approach, with more military kit now to counter a spring offensive by Russia, with long-term support for the future.

Although Ukraine is desperate for fighter jets immediately to counter the Russian air force, the length of the required training means that No 10 has said the pilot programme is a ‘long-term capability investment’.

The training will ensure pilots are able to fly sophisticated Nato-standard fighter jets in the future.

While the UK operates F-35 and Typhoon jets, the older F-16s widely operated by other Nato countries are more likely to be supplied to Ukraine, should Western leaders agree to Mr Zelensky’s requests.

- Advertisement -