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25 Oct, 2022 15:09

Boris Johnson to lobby for Ukraine in US – FT

The ex-British PM is reportedly worried about Washington’s resolve to back Kiev’s military
Boris Johnson to lobby for Ukraine in US – FT

Boris Johnson intends to use his political weight to ensure that the US remains fully committed to aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russia, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing people close to the former prime minister. This comes after Republicans have indicated that assistance to the country could be curbed should they win the midterm elections in November.

Johnson has long been adamant about backing Kiev. The former prime minister now wants to “spend more time in Washington, DC to lobby for continued bipartisan US support for Ukraine.” 

These plans may have become more urgent after last week House minority leader Kevin McCarthy claimed that the Republicans may attempt to decrease Washington’s support for Ukraine if they win the midterm elections on November 8. McCarthy’s comments “shocked” Ukrainian officials, including David Arakhamia, who heads President Vladimir Zelensky’s party in the country’s parliament.

Johnson has yet to get a formal role in the UK government. On Monday, Rishi Sunak, who became the new British Prime Minister the next day, tweeted that he hoped Johnson would continue “to contribute to public life at home and abroad.”

Some UK officials are said to have discussed whether the ex-PM could act as Britain’s international envoy, potentially working to help Ukraine in its reconstruction efforts. However, such ideas apparently have not yet reached the stage of formal deliberations.

Since Russia launched its military campaign in late February, the US has been Ukraine’s strongest backer, providing Kiev with large quantities of weapons, funding, and intelligence. As of mid-October, Washington had invested approximately $17.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, according to the US Department of State.

Moscow has on numerous occasions criticized the weapons deliveries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.