White House: Boris Johnson resignation to have no effect on Ukraine support

File - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
Frank Augstein/Associated Press
File – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation on Thursday is expected to have no effect on the steady supply of weapons and other aid into Ukraine, according to a top White House aide. 

“Every leader at NATO and every leader at the G-7 [Group of Seven] said they were going to continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said in an interview on Fox News Wednesday. 

Kirby, who made the comments ahead of Johnson’s expected resignation, also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “understands that he has that international support, regardless of what government is in power in any one of those countries.” 

Johnson on Thursday announced his resignation after dozens of top members of his Conservative government walked out in protest of several major, successive scandals. 

Wildly popular in Ukraine, Johnson gained the admiration of the country and its leaders for strongly pushing weapons transfers to the former Soviet nation and applying severe sanctions on Moscow shortly after Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24. 

Johnson also became the first leader of a G-7 country to visit Kyiv in April, returning for a second time in June.  

In addition, he had repeatedly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin in the lead-up to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

In his resignation speech on Thursday, Johnson promised Ukrainians that military support would continue under his successor, pledging that the United Kingdom would “continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.” 

Russian officials, meanwhile, celebrated Johnson’s ousting, with foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova characterizing his fall as a sign of Western decline.  

“The moral of the story — do not seek to destroy Russia,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram. “Russia cannot be destroyed. You can break your teeth on it, and then choke on them.” 

Tags Boris Johnson Boris johnson resignation John Kirby Maria Zakharova UK Ukraine United Kingdom Volodymyr Zelensky
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