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Boris Johnson hopes for progress to end blockade of Ukrainian grain

A Russian military boat guards an area of grain storage at the Mariupol Sea Port in Ukraine (AP)
A Russian military boat guards an area of grain storage at the Mariupol Sea Port in Ukraine (AP)

Boris Johnson has said he hopes there is progress in the coming days in relation to Russia’s “unforgivable blockade” of Ukrainian grain.

The Prime Minister spoke on Wednesday evening with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky about how Ukraine could depend on the UK’s “full and steadfast support until its eventual victory”.

President Zelensky tweeted about the conversation, saying he is in “constant contact” with Mr Johnson.

The Russian naval blockade has imposed an economic stranglehold on Ukraine – one of the world’s biggest grain exporters – as well as threatening food supplies to some of the world’s poorest countries.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said Mr Johnson spoke to President Zelensky and reiterated the UK’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

The spokeswoman added: “The Prime Minister praised the strength of Ukraine’s heroic resistance in the recent days and weeks, which he said was clearly imposing a significant cost on Russia.

“The continued determination of Ukrainian forces to win was evident to the entire world, and Ukraine could count on the UK’s full and steadfast support until its eventual victory, the Prime Minister added.

“The Prime Minister said the G7 and Nato summits later this month were an opportunity to demonstrate the West’s unity and resolve to support Ukraine for the long-term.

Boris Johnson met Mr Zelensky in Kyiv in April
Boris Johnson met Mr Zelensky in Kyiv in April (Ukraine Government/PA)

“Both leaders agreed on the importance of increased military training, and the Prime Minister said the UK would continue to do all it could to support Ukraine with defensive aid.

“The pair discussed Russia’s unforgivable blockade of Ukrainian grain, and the Prime Minister said he hoped progress on the issue could be made in the coming days.

“The leaders agreed to speak again soon.”

President Zelensky tweeted: “In constant contact with @BorisJohnson. Coordinated positions on the eve of important international events.

“Discussed the situation on the battlefield, Ukraine’s defense needs and threats to food security.”

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