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Europe-Russia tension: UK's new PM contacts Zelensky, vows 'full backing' for Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
New UK prime minister Liz Truss gives her first speech at Downing Street. (Via Getty Images)

In her first contact with a foreign statesman, Britain's new Prime Minister Liz Truss has called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, vowing unfaltering support on the part of London for Kiev in the face of an ongoing Russian military operation.

Truss, who took over Britain's premiership from Boris Johnson on Tuesday, called Zelensky "in her first call with a counterpart since becoming prime minister," a spokeswoman said.

"She (Truss) reiterated to the Ukrainian leader that he had her full backing, and Ukraine could depend on the UK's assistance for the long term," the spokeswoman added.

London has been funneling military hardware, funding, and training resources to Kiev's since February 24, when Russia began the "special military operation" in its neighbor.

The operation is aimed at “demilitarizing” the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, among other things.

Back in 2014, the republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

Announcing the operation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the mission was aimed at “defending people who for eight years are suffering persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime.”

Zelensky says 'coordinated' with Truss 'further pressure' on Russia

Responding to Truss's assurances of support, Ukrainian President Zelensky said he had "coordinated" with Britain's new premier "further pressure" on Russia.

Zelensky, who "invited her (Truss) to Ukraine," also expressed gratitude towards the "British people for the major defense and economic aid for Ukraine," saying "it's important that Britain is ready to further strengthen it."

Also on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned Europe against thoughtlessly providing military assistance to Kiev, saying the trend was jeopardizing the security of the continent by drawing out the conflict in Ukraine.

Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko made the remarks in a statement addressed to the European Union.

The bloc, he said, “is not thinking about the consequences of providing military assistance to Kiev, and Brussels is determined to prolong the conflict and endanger the security of the continent,” he said.

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