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Ukraine President Zelenskiy Congratulates U.K. Prime Minister Johnson Ahead of Turkey Trip

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (left) talks to local residents in the central city of Cherkasy on July 31.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming the United Kingdom's new prime minister in a phone conversation, which took place on August 5.

In a statement on the presidential website, Zelenskiy said he had thanked the British government "for its continued support of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty" and for helping the country "implement reforms and strengthen its defense capabilities."

Britain follows EU-level sanctions policy on Russia relating to its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and other activity in the region.

Britain also has a 2018-2019 technical assistance program in Ukraine worth 35.2 million pounds ($42.8 million) in areas of governance, anti-corruption, accountability, security, humanitarian aid, human rights, and education.

The U.K Defense Ministry’s Operational Orbital program has also trained more than 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen, including marines and special forces. Training mostly takes place in the southern region of Mykolayiv.

At any one time, about 120 British soldiers are in Ukraine.

Trade turnover between the two countries is at around $2.5 billion, former British Ambassador to Ukraine Judith Gough said in April.

Johnson and Zelenskiy also discussed bilateral relations after the U.K. withdraws from the EU and "stressed the need to intensify contacts at the highest level."

On August 7-8, Zelenskiy will make an official visit to Turkey.

He will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, members of the Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar community, as well as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of Orthodox Christianity.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service