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Zelenskyy on surprise visit to London to meet Sunak and King Charles – POLITICO

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LONDON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be in London on Wednesday to meet the British Prime Minister and King Charles III as Britain announces new training programs for fighter pilots and marines.

Zelenskyy’s surprise trip includes a visit to see Ukrainian troops being trained by the British armed forces and a speech in the British parliament. He will be granted an audience with the British monarch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday afternoon.

This is Zelenskyy’s second trip abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The Ukrainian leader was also due to visit EU leaders in Brussels later this week, but the stoppage has was questioned after the plans leaked on Monday.

In a statement on Wednesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the UK would now train pilots on the operation of fighter jets to NATO standards as well as marines. This is on top of an expansion of British training of Ukrainian recruits from 10,000 to 20,000 troops this year.

The new training programs show Britain’s commitment “to stand by Ukraine for years to come”, Sunak said.

During their talks, Sunak is expected to offer Ukraine’s president longer-range weapons and his support for Zelenskyy’s plans to work for peace, 10 Downing Street said.

“President Zelenskyy’s visit to the UK is a testament to his country’s courage, determination and struggle, and a testament to the unwavering friendship between our two countries,” Sunak added.

The UK will also announce new sanctions on Wednesday in response to Russia’s continued bombardment of Ukraine, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

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