Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “a true friend of Ukraine,” adding that he is confident that the UK’s policy toward Ukraine won’t be changing any time soon despite Johnson's resignation.
Ukraine gained a lot from their relationship with the prime minister, including first and foremost military support, Zelensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview on Thursday when asked about his comments on Johnson’s resignation.
Johnson resigned following a revolt within his Conservative Party, saying in an address to the nation that the process of choosing a new prime minister "should begin now." Johnson is not planning to leave office immediately, however. He will stay until a new leader is in place, he said, in a televised speech outside 10 Downing Street.
In his resignation speech, Johnson addressed Britain's role in supporting Ukraine in its war and said the UK will fight for freedom as long as it takes.
"Let me say now to the people of Ukraine. I know that we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes," he said.
The two leaders spoke on the phone later on Thursday, and Johnson assured Zelensky of the UK’s continued support and called the Ukrainian president a “hero.”
Johnson called Zelensky a “hero,” and said “everybody loves you,”according to an official read out of the call.
Zelensky’s office said he thanked Johnson for his “decisive” action on Ukraine and told the outgoing prime minister that news of his resignation was received "with sadness" by him and the "entire Ukrainian society."
“We have no doubt that Great Britain's support will be preserved, but your personal leadership and charisma made it special," Zelensky added.
Johnson reportedly pledged to continue to work “at pace” towards “ending the grain blockade in the coming weeks.”