UK to reopen embassy in Kyiv next week: PM Johnson

Image Source : AP/PTI

UK PM Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference in Delhi on the last day of his two-day trip to India.

Highlights

  • UK will reopen embassy in Kyiv by next week
  • British Prime Minister confirmed the development during his visit to Russia
  • Boris Johnson added that he wants to pay tribute to British diplomats who remained in Ukraine

The UK government will reopen the British Embassy in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv by next week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed during his India visit on Friday. The Embassy was forced to temporarily close down when the Russia-Ukraine conflict began in February.

“The extraordinary fortitude and success of [Ukraine] President Zelensky in resisting Russian forces in Kyiv means I can announce that very shortly, next week, we will reopen our embassy in Ukraine’s capital city,” Johnson told reporters addressing a press conference in New Delhi.

“I want to pay tribute to those British diplomats who remained in the region throughout this period,” he said.

A contingent of British staff remained in western Ukraine to provide humanitarian and other support. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the British Embassy premises are currently being made secure before staff return, starting with the UK ambassador Melinda Simmons.

“The extraordinary fortitude and success of President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people in resisting Russian forces, means we will shortly be re-opening our British Embassy in Kyiv,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement in London.

“I want to pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the Embassy team and their work throughout this period,” she said.

The FCDO said the travel advisory for the region continues to advise against all travel to Ukraine. When its embassy closed in February, the FCDO had said that the mission was relocating temporarily and staff were operating from an embassy office in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

The move follows Boris Johnson’s surprise visit to Kyiv earlier this month and in the wake of several European countries, including Italy, Spain and France, and the European Union (EU) already reopening their missions in Kyiv.

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