Once prime minister, now foreign secretary, Britain’s Cameron visits war-torn Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with David Cameron
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, shakes hands with new British Foreign Secretary David Cameron in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office)
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New British Foreign Secretary David Cameron traveled Thursday to the Ukrainian port of Odesa during his first overseas trip as the U.K.’s top diplomat and pledged continued military support for Ukraine’s war effort until it is victorious in its war with Russia.

Cameron, a former prime minister who returned to government in a surpriseappointment Monday in a Cabinet shuffle, said he wanted to make Ukraine
his first diplomatic destination, and met Wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“I admire the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people,” he told Zelensky, according to a video posted Thursday by the president.


Cameron said Britain would continue to provide moral and diplomatic support, “but above all, the military support that you need not just this year and next year but however long it takes.”

The two-day visit came as Ukraine faces several challenges on and off the battlefield.

Zelensky has struggled to keep the world’s focus on Ukraine’s fight as attention has turned to the Middle East and Israel’s war against Hamas. Additional U.S. funding for Ukraine is in jeopardy because of political fights in Washington, and the European Union says it can’t provide allthe munitions it promised. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s counteroffensive has led to only incremental gains, and the ground war appears bogged down in a stalemate as wintry weather arrives.

A Russian court convicted an artist and musician for replacing supermarket price tags with antiwar slogans and sentenced her to seven years in prison.

Nov. 16, 2023

Zelensky thanked Cameron for visiting and told him that the divided focus in the world does not help Ukraine’s cause.

“A good meeting,” Zelensky wrote on the messaging app Telegram. “Weapons for the front, strengthening of air defense, protection of our people and critical infrastructure. I am grateful to the UK for its support!”

Cameron said he wanted to find out what Ukraine needs from its friends and also make sure it is not forgotten on the world stage.

“Russia thinks it can wait this war out, and that the West will eventually turn its attention elsewhere,” Cameron said in a statement Thursday. “This could not be further from the truth. In my first discussions with President Zelensky in my new role, I made clear that the U.K. and our partners will support Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes for them to achieve victory.”


Germany’s top diplomat says Berlin’s aid to Ukraine will be ‘massively expanded’ next year even though global attention has turned to the Middle East.

Nov. 13, 2023

Britain has been one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine in defending itself from Russia.

As of last month, Britain said it was second only to the U.S. in providing military funds to Ukraine, giving $5.7 billion in assistance and training 30,000 Ukrainian troops on British soil.

Cameron was prime minister when Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014. He launched a program to have the British army train more than 22,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

After meeting with Zelensky and other officials in Kyiv on Wednesday, Cameron became the first British government minister to travel to the port city of Odesa since the war began.

A top Ukrainian official says his embattled country’s troops have established a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River near Kherson.

Nov. 15, 2023

The historic city on the Black Sea is home to the nation’s busiest ports and serves as one of the main shipping points for Ukrainian grain destined for world markets. The city and port have come under fire since Russia over the summer declined to renew a deal allowing Ukraine to safely export grain via the Black Sea.

Cameron was shown how Ukraine is fighting back against Russia in the Black Sea to ensure that grain is still reaching countries in the developing world, his office said, though it provided no details.


Since the collapse of the grain deal, a new corridor in the Black Sea has allowed 91 ships to export cargo.

“In the last three months, Ukraine has made remarkable progress in the Black Sea to drive the Russian navy eastwards and open critical export corridors for Ukraine’s economy and global food supplies,” Cameron said.