Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was one of many first overseas leaders Prime Minister Liz Truss talked to since occupying the UK’s prime workplace.
“Ukraine can rely upon the UK for help in the long run,” she said on Twitter after their telephone dialog on Tuesday.
And the primary overseas chief Zelenskyy referred to as when Russia invaded Ukraine in February was Truss’s predecessor, Boris Johnson.
The rapprochement between Kyiv and London has develop into one of many battle’s silver linings, and Johnson was welcomed in Ukraine as a nationwide hero.
“The UK stands with Ukraine” was the pinned submit on Johnson’s Twitter account throughout his three-year-long tenure as prime minister, and sunflowers symbolising Ukraine had been displayed within the home windows of his Downing Avenue residence.
Johnson was one of many first political heavyweights to go to Ukraine after the battle started, and Ukrainians appreciated it by naming a avenue and a pastry after him.
They barely observed the scandal that led to his downfall, and Zelenskyy mourned the top of his tenure.
“All of us heard this information with disappointment. Not solely me, but additionally all the Ukrainian society, which may be very sympathetic to you. We’ve got little question that Nice Britain’s help shall be preserved, however your private management and charisma made it particular,” the Ukrainian chief mentioned in July.
So, what shall Ukraine anticipate from Johnson’s successor?
“A continuation of the strategic partnership coverage and a lift of navy and monetary support,” Kyiv-based analyst Aleksey Kushch instructed Al Jazeera.
The UK is free from commitments to the European Union and is way much less depending on Russia’s hydrocarbon exports than continental Europe.
Below Johnson, London threw its political weight behind the nascent anti-Russian bloc of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania – and that’s one thing Truss is predicted to proceed.
“Britain will play a stabilising position within the Baltic-Black Sea axis, Kushch mentioned.
Different pundits agree.
“Nice Britain is making an attempt to construct its zone of affect in continental Europe, via Poland, Ukraine and farther into the Black Sea basin,” Ihar Tyshkevich of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, a Kyiv-based think-tank, instructed Al Jazeera.
“As a result of these pursuits stay, one can’t anticipate that the brand new British prime minister to vary GB’s insurance policies swiftly,” he mentioned.
Different analysts are much more optimistic about her.
“It’s Johnson doubled,” analyst Oleksander Kraev wrote in an op-ed revealed by the UNIAN information company on Tuesday. “She has already promised to develop into Ukraine’s greatest good friend.”
Predictably, Moscow doesn’t foresee any political thaws in ties with London.
“There isn’t any probability to say that Liz Truss will one way or the other enhance Russian-British ties,” Russian lawmaker Dmitry Novikov reportedly mentioned.
What is way extra necessary for Ukraine’s quick wants is the navy support London has offered – and can proceed to supply.
Typically appearing faster than different Western backers, the UK has already equipped M270 multiple-launch rocket techniques, Mastiff armoured automobiles, Javelin anti-tank missiles and counter-battery radar techniques.
A whole lot of UK-made target-spotting micro-drones enhance precision strikes, and the Harpoon anti-ship missile techniques London helped present have already sunk a number of Russian ships within the Black Sea.
Mine-hunting techniques assist detect Russian mines in seawater whereas British trawlers assist Ukrainian cargo ships take grain via Bosporus.
A whole lot of anti-aircraft and anti-tank “loitering” missiles have additionally been deadly to Russian servicemen and tools.
London’s navy support package deal reached 2.3 billion kilos ($2.8bn) whereas it pledged to coach 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen each three months at a navy base in southeastern England whose location has not been publicised.
“Everybody noticed [the assistance] from the point of view of initiatives, help and private instance” set by Johnson, Lieutenant Common Ihor Romanenko, the previous deputy chief of Ukraine’s common workers of armed forces, instructed Al Jazeera.
“We actually hope that the management and the initiatives in supplying arms and coaching personnel will proceed,” he mentioned.
My message to our G7 and NATO allies as we speak is straightforward. The one factor Putin understands is energy. Along with our allies we’re preserving the strain up with extra sanctions, weapons and ending imports of Russian vitality.
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇩🇪 🇫🇷 🇮🇹 🇨🇦 🇯🇵 🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/2kzyAg94FN
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) April 7, 2022
Truss, who served as Johnson’s overseas minister, has been instrumental in securing the provides.
“My message to our G7 and NATO allies as we speak is straightforward,” she mentioned on Twitter in early April.
“The one factor Putin understands is energy. Along with our allies, we’re preserving the strain up with extra sanctions, weapons and ending imports of Russian vitality,” she mentioned.
She did, nonetheless, face a humiliating gaffe associated to Ukraine.
Throughout her journey to Moscow in early February, Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov trolled her by asking whether or not the UK would recognise Moscow’s rule over Voronezh and Rostov – two areas in western Russia.
Having mistaken them for Donetsk and Luhansk, two Ukrainian provinces partly managed by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, she replied that London would “by no means recognise Russian sovereignty over these areas”, the Kommersant each day reported.
Lavrov ridiculed Truss throughout their information convention, saying their dialog was like “a mute speaking to a deaf”, and Russian media adopted go well with mocking her.
Hours later, Truss needed to provide you with a clarification.
“Throughout the assembly, it appeared to me that minister Lavrov was speaking about part of Ukraine. I’ve clearly indicated that these areas are a part of sovereign Russia,” she mentioned.
However regardless of her information of Russia’s geography, Ukraine does prime her agenda.
She talked concerning the battle with US President Joe Biden throughout their first telephone dialog.
They “mentioned the significance of continued shut cooperation on world challenges, together with supporting Ukraine because it defends itself in opposition to Russian aggression”, the White Home mentioned in an announcement.
Common Ukrainians aren’t very aware of Truss, who turned Britain’s fourth prime minister in six years. However some assume that she will be able to increase her personal political standing by serving to Kyiv.
“We’ll see what she will be able to do for us,” retired librarian Oksana Lipnitskaya instructed Al Jazeera. “England has at all times been anti-Russia, and serving to Ukraine is form of trendy today.”