Ben Wallace erupts with fury at conspiracy bo****ks about Boris Johnsons Ukraine visit

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The Prime Minister visited Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday in a surprise move. Mr Johnson offered to launch a military training programme for Ukrainian forces on Friday on his second trip to the Ukrainian capital since Russia’s invasion.

Mr Johnson, who survived a no confidence vote earlier this month, was greeted by President Zelensky as a “great friend” and posted a picture of himself with the Ukrainian president, with the words “Mr President, Volodymyr, It is good to be in Kyiv again”.

The Prime Minister was accused of travelling to Kyiv to distract the public from domestic politics as he finds himself in muddy waters with members of his party.

But Defence Secretary Ben Wallace blasted: “So there is a lot of rubbish being spouted about the PM’s trip to Ukraine.

“Firstly these trips are organised in total secrecy. Very few, and i mean very few, people know the dates and arrangements.

“Russia is still launching missile strikes right across Ukraine.

“Visits are sometimes necessary in person because not everything can be discussed securely over phones etc. Russia has an aggressive electronic warfare and signal intelligence operation.

“The timings of such visits are usually a matter for the hosts but I know the PM wanted to visit before Nato Leaders summit in 10 days time.

“As a Northern MP, myself i am not affronted by the fact he had to cancel speaking at the conference. The PM can remedy that in many ways however taking the opportunity to visit a country and ally at war to ensure we are doing everything we can to help is also important.

“As a northern MP I am proud that Britain has been at the forefront of the international effort to support Ukraine.

“Helping Ukraine win and trying to help at home are linked. Part of the inflation we see comes from gas and food prices which are partly driven upwards because of this conflict. Amazing how an important trip can generate so much conspiracy bollocks.”

Mr Johnson offered to launch a major training operation for Ukrainian forces, with the potential to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days at the meeting, his office said.

“My visit today, in the depths of this war, is to send a clear and simple message to the Ukrainian people: the UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” he said.

“That is why I have offered President Zelenskiy a major new military training programme that could change the equation of this war harnessing that most powerful of forces, the Ukrainian determination to win.”

The unannounced trip was Johnson’s latest show of support for Zelensky since Russia invaded Ukraine in February but might have come at the expense of his own lawmakers.

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Some were angry after he cancelled an appearance at a conference in northern England, where some Conservatives won traditionally opposition Labour-supporting parliamentary seats for the first time in 2019.

The trip also came a day after the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania travelled to Kyiv and endorsed Ukraine’s candidate status to join the European Union.

“Many days of this war have proved that Great Britain’s support for Ukraine is firm and resolute. Glad to see our country’s great friend Boris Johnson in Kyiv again,” Zelensky said.

He and Mr Johnson discussed the state of play at the front line and the need to ramp up supplies of heavy weapons and to build up Ukrainian air defences, Zelensky said in a short statement delivered next to Johnson.

“We have a shared vision of how to move towards victory because that it is exactly what Ukraine needs – the victory of our state,” Zelensky said.

Mr Johnson said in his statement: “We’re here once again to underline that we are here with you to give you the strategic endurance that you will need.”

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