Johnson and Zelensky held talks over roast beef dinner during Kyiv visit

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The Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over a dinner of roast beef during his visit to Kyiv on Saturday, Downing Street said.

Boris Johnson was in the Ukrainian capital for around five hours, and travelled by car, helicopter, military plane and train, according to a No 10 spokeswoman.

He started by meeting with Mr Zelensky for an hour, followed by a 30-minute walk to Independence Square.

(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/PA)

(PA Media)

“On arrival in Kyiv, the PM and President Zelensky met for an hour – this was a meeting just with the two of them. They then went on a 30-minute walk together to Independence Square,” the spokeswoman said.

“You’ll have seen some of the footage – he met with Ukrainians and passed the memorials that have been put up to victims of the war.”

After returning, they held a further full bilateral meeting over dinner, she added.

The pair had a starter of goats cheese salad and chicken soup, followed by a main course of roast beef and cherry dumplings for dessert.

Asked who accompanied the Prime Minister on the visit, the spokeswoman said: “It was a very small delegation. I believe it was one member of his private office and then security.”

(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/PA)

(PA Media)

She said Mr Johnson was in Kyiv for “around five hours”.

“In terms of the entirety of the visit, he left on Friday evening and he travelled overnight, and he arrived back in the UK on the Sunday morning,” she said.

The spokeswoman said that due to “operational concerns” it was not possible to go into “too much detail” about the arrangements, but said Mr Johnson travelled by car, helicopter, military plane and train to get to Kyiv and back.

Asked about his “emotional response” to seeing the destruction, she referred to a previous statement in which the Prime Minister praised the “heroism” of Ukrainians in the face of Russian aggression.

She said the visit had been in planning for “several weeks” but the final decision was taken on the advice of security officials on the day of travel.

Mr Johnson is now at his country retreat, Chequers, with a view to having “a bit of a break” for a couple of days.

The spokeswoman said the intention is for the Prime Minister to “get some rest and spend some time with family”.

He will continue to receive updates, particularly on Ukraine, and will be participating in meetings throughout, she said.

The spokeswoman was also asked about Mr Johnson being presented with a ceramic cockerel, which has become a symbol of resistance in Ukraine, as he walked through the streets of Kyiv with Mr Zelensky.

Asked if the Ukrainian president had explained the significance of the item, and whether it would be placed in the Downing Street office, she said: “I understand that he took that back with him to Chequers, so he has that.

“And yes, he is aware that it has become a famous symbol of resistance.”

Author: Rave

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