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Boris Johnson said it was a “privilege” to be invited for an unexpected visit to a war-torn Ukrainian town.
The former prime minister, who faces renewed scrutiny over his personal finances, was photographed visiting the Kyiv suburb of Borodyanka, which was heavily damaged during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Johnson, who has continued to support Ukraine even after stepping down as prime minister, said he visited Ukraine at the invitation of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
However, the visit was not official on behalf of the British government. A spokesperson for Johnson said the former prime minister “fully supports” Britain’s foreign policy on Ukraine.
Downing Street said Rishi Snak “supports” Boris Johnson’s visit to Ukraine.
A spokesman for the prime minister said: “I have always stood by and will continue to stand by all my colleagues who show that the UK is behind Ukraine.”
He marked his second appearance on the international stage in a matter of days after attending the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday and appearing on a panel discussing Ukraine alongside President Zelensky, who attended via video link. .
Labor politicians criticized Mr Sunak for not attending the event, but Downing Street noted that other senior government officials represented the UK at Davos.
“I am honored to be able to visit Ukraine at President Zelensky’s invitation. The suffering of the Ukrainian people has been going on for too long,” Johnson said on Sunday.
“The only way to end this war is if Ukraine wins and wins as soon as possible. It’s time to double down and give Ukrainians all the tools they need to get the job done. The sooner Putin is ousted, the better for Ukraine and the whole world.”
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said his visit would “show solidarity with the people of Ukraine”.
They added that Mr Johnson fully supports British policy, including the recent decision to send Challenger tanks.
Mr Johnson has spoken out about his actions during his tenure after The Sunday Times reported that BBC chairman Richard Sharp helped secure a loan weeks before then-Prime Minister Johnson endorsed Mr Johnson for the position. We are facing a new wave of scrutiny.
Mr Sharp, a Tory donor, was reportedly involved in arranging a guarantor for a loan of up to £800,000 for Mr Johnson in late 2020.
But Sharp said he was “simply bringing people together” and had no conflicts of interest.
He introduced Sam Bryce, a millionaire Canadian businessman, to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who offered to act as surety for Mr. Johnson on the credit facility.
In January 2021, the government chose Mr Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker, for the BBC position.