David Cameron lands in Ukraine: Ex-Prime Minister meets Zelensky

David Cameron‘s first trip as Foreign Secretary has been to visit Volodymyr Zelensky, it was revealed today, where the ex-Tory leader paid tribute to Boris Johnson and his support for Ukraine.

The former Prime Minister has popped up in Kyiv this morning in a video shared by the Ukrainian President on social media.

Mr Cameron’s choice for his working visit abroad just days after his shock appointment by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak amid the fallout of Suella Braverman‘s sacking.

He said: ‘I wanted this to be my first trip. I had some disagreements with my friend Boris Johnson, but I’ve known him for 40 years and his support for you was the finest thing he and his Government ever did’.

Mr Zelensky made the announcement in a post on the Telegram messaging app, where he posted a short video of the two meeting. It was also shared on Twitter.

‘Weapons for the frontline, strengthening air defence, protecting our people and critical infrastructure. I am grateful to the UK for its support,’ Zelensky said in a statement on social media, accompanied by images of him and Cameron shaking hands. 

The visit was not pre-announced. Mr Cameron is also expected to visit Israel as soon as possible given the turmoil in the Middle East. 

David Cameron shakes hands with Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine

The new Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron (third from right) meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (third from left) in Kyiv

The war in Gaza also came up in talks. Zelensky said he was grateful for the gesture, which comes amid a conflict in the Middle East.

‘The world is not so focused on the battlefield situation in Ukraine, and this dividing of the focus really does not help,’

Former prime minister Lord Cameron became Foreign Secretary on Monday and the early visit to Ukraine will be intended to demonstrate the UK’s continued support for the country.

His predecessor James Cleverly had been scheduled to make the visit before being moved to the Home Office in Monday’s reshuffle.

Mr Cameron is under pressure to reveal his links to ‘Chinese interests’ after it emerged that Beijing has welcomed his shock return to Cabinet. 

The new Foreign Secretary‘s work for an investment fund ‘engineered by the Chinese state’ was raised by Sir Keir Starmer in the Commons while other MPs highlighted his controversial lobbying activities since leaving No10.

His foreign policy record also came under scrutiny during the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the reshuffle, with his hosting of a G8 summit a decade ago called his biggest achievement by Rishi Sunak.

It came after Lord Cameron’s ‘unique understanding of China‘ was praised by a newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party.

An article in Global Times described the ‘golden era’ of relations between the two countries during the Cameron premiership including the famous pint he enjoyed with president Xi Jinping in a pub near Chequers.

However, Lord Cameron’s activities since quitting No10 the morning after the EU referendum were mocked by Labour leader Sir Keir at PMQs yesterday.

‘A few months ago, the Intelligence and Security Committee said the now Foreign Secretary’s role in a Chinese investment fund may have been – these are its words – ‘engineered by the Chinese state’. When will he instruct the Foreign Secretary to give full public disclosure of his work for Chinese interests?’

Mr Sunak replied that he was ‘delighted’ at Lord Cameron’s return, praised his ‘unrivalled experience’ and insisted he will ‘go through the normal process with the independent adviser’ on ministerial interests.

Xi Jinping has fish and chips with David Cameron at a pub in Buckinghamshire in 2015


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