Hunt visits Kyiv and urges allies to ‘pile pressure on Putin’

Ukraine’s allies should “pile the pressure” on Vladimir Putin, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said on a visit to Kyiv.

Mr Hunt’s trip to Ukraine came after the Government announced a £500 million package of military aid and Rishi Sunak committed to long-term support as part of a move to increase the UK’s defence budget.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky told Mr Hunt that the “crucial” support was “very important” as the pair met in Kyiv.

The Chancellor said: “War in Ukraine has raged on for longer than many feared, but today I saw that the resolve of its people remains absolute.

Rishi Sunak visit to Poland and Germany
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps have carried out a series of European engagements to highlight the Government’s defence announcements (Henry Nicholls/PA)

“Ukraine’s security is our security and the billions in funding and equipment Britain has provided to date is just the start of a longer-term commitment to supporting them in their struggle with Russia for as long as it takes.”

Mr Zelensky said: “I want to thank you, your team, government, Prime Minister, Parliament and people of the United Kingdom that you are with us – with Ukraine – from the first days of full-scale war. We count on you. We are real partners.”

The Chancellor visited Saint Michael’s Square and laid flowers at the memorial to the soldiers killed in the war.

He also visited St Michael’s golden-domed monastery and lit a candle in their memory.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron used his tour of central Asian states to discuss measures to prevent sanctions on Russia being flouted.

Cameron visit to Central Asia – Day 3
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron is touring central Asia (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Concerns have been raised that items could be exported to Russia’s neighbours before being moved across borders.

Speaking to the PA news agency in Kazakhstan, Lord Cameron said: “All my interlocutors have said ‘this is something we recognise, we’ll work with you to try and deal with’.

“They have ways of intervening to stop things being moved if they’re in contravention of sanctions.

“In fact in Turkmenistan specifically, one of the ministers I was talking to said ‘we do intervene, we don’t want this to happen’ and so I’m confident that it’s right to raise this and it will be ongoing action.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to said they are committed (to tackling circumvention).”

Measures to make it harder to circumvent the rules could include extra bureaucratic checks and the use of an online tracking system which traces where goods are going and details the sanctions which are in place.

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