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Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy touches down at Stansted Airport





Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was greeted by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the runway at Stansted Airport on Wednesday morning (Feb 8) on his second trip abroad since Russian forces invaded his country almost a year ago.

The leaders hugged after an RAF C-17 Globemaster, callsign RRR6373, carrying Mr Zelenskyy landed at 10.19am. It had left Rzeszow Airport in Poland at 9.19 local time.

Stansted's north side, home to a host of private jet centres, is accustomed to welcoming world leaders. American presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have used its facilities. The airport was a hub for dignitaries attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral and is expected to fulfil the same function for King Charles III's coronation on May 6.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted this photo of himself greeting president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted this photo of himself greeting president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Mr Zelenskyy was sped away by security services at the start of his second trip abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year. Previously he stopped off in Poland on the way to the USA last December.

As he arrived at Stansted, he posted a picture with Mr Sunak on Instagram and said: "The United Kingdom was one of the first to come to Ukraine's aid. And today I'm in London to personally thank the British people for their support and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for his leadership."

After talks with Mr Sunak at 10 Downing Street, the Ukrainian leader will address Parliament.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted this picture of himself at Stansted Airport with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Instagram
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted this picture of himself at Stansted Airport with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Instagram

Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: "It is an honour to host President Zelenskyy of Ukraine in Westminster Hall later today. The president will address members of both houses about the ongoing situation in his country."

A meeting with King Charles is also expected to take place later today as Mr Zelenskyy seeks further long-term military support from the UK.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon said on Twitter: "Welcome, President Zelenskyy. We must continue to support Ukraine as they continue to defend their country."

Foreign Secretary and Braintree MP James Cleverly has announced further sanctions against Russia in support of Ukraine.

It is believed Mr Zelenskyy will next fly to Brussels in Belgium for a summit with European Union leaders.



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