British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday, according to CBS.
The leaders discussed enhanced sanctions against Russia and continued British support for Ukrainian defense, the outlet reported.
Johnson is the first G7 leader to travel to Kyiv since the beginning of the Russian invasion, according to the BBC. Economic support from the United Kingdom to Ukraine in the form of a £770 million loan was also announced during the surprise visit, the outlet also noted.
Johnson praised Ukrainians for valiantly resisting the Russian invasion and reflected on a previous suggestion by U.K. intelligence that Kyiv would be rapidly overrun by Russian forces, according to CBS.
At a handshake distance. @BorisJohnson and @ZelenskyyUa walked through the center of Kyiv and talked to ordinary Kyivans. This is what democracy looks like. This is what courage looks like. This is what true friendship between peoples and between nations looks like. pic.twitter.com/ZcdL6NqNp2
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 9, 2022
The visit by Johnson exemplifies continued international diplomatic and public support for Ukraine as the nation aggressively fights Russian forces.
Johnson celebrated the leadership of Zelenskyy amid the invasion, saying that “Ukrainians have shown the courage of a lion. But you, Volodymyr, have given the roar of that lion,” according to CBS.
Zelenskyy called the meeting “a true reflection for the decisive and significant support to Ukraine from United Kingdom and we are always grateful for that,” CBS continued. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: 11-Year-Old Girl Shot In The Face By Russian Soldier Crosses Into Poland)
Johnson predicted “that an independent, sovereign Ukraine will rise again” but added that Russian forces will “intensify the pressure in Donbas and in the east,” highlighting aid to Ukraine as “so vital,” the outlet noted.