Britain to reopen embassy in Kyiv next week

Britain to reopen embassy in Kyiv next week
British and NATO Flags on the British Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, 24 January 2022. Britain announced it is withdrawing some diplomats and dependants from its embassy in Kyiv amid growing fears of a Russian invasion. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

NEW DELHI, April 22 (Reuters) - Britain plans to reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv next week and is looking at reinforcing allies who sent armaments to Ukraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.

The British government announced in February, days before Russia invaded Ukraine, that its embassy in Kyiv was relocating temporarily and staff were operating from a diplomatic office in the city of Lviv. 

“The extraordinary fortitude and the success of (Ukrainian)President Zelenskiy and the Ukrainian people in resisting Russian forces in Kyiv, means that I can announce today that we will shortly – next week – re-open our embassy in Ukraine’s capital city,” Johnson told a news conference.

The British leader said Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a “catastrophic blunder” over the invasion, but that it remained a realistic possibility Russia could still win in Ukraine.

“The situation is, I’m afraid, unpredictable at this stage, but we’ve just got to be realistic about that,” he said during a two-day visit to India.

Russia calls its incursion a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Kyiv and its Western allies reject that as a false pretext for an illegal war of aggression.

Johnson also announced that Britain was looking into what it could do to reinforce military equipment in countries such as Poland, to enable them to send heavier weaponry to Ukraine.

“We’re looking at sending tanks to Poland to help them as they as they send some of their T-72s (tanks) to Ukraine,” he said.

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, Writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Michael Holden)


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