Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky to address UK MPs in Commons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address British MPs via video link later, as his county continues to battle Russian invasion.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was pleased to grant Mr Zelensky’s “historic” request, with the address taking place at 17:00 GMT.

The speech will be shown on screens being installed in the chamber.

More than 500 headsets will also be issued to MPs so they can follow a live translation into English.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is hosting meetings in London with the leaders of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The series of meetings will be to discuss the UK’s support for security in central Europe.

Sir Lindsay said: “Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House.

“Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic address possible.”

Mr Zelensky, a former comedian and actor, has been the figurehead of Ukraine’s struggle since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded the country last month.

Last week, he received a standing ovation when he spoke, via videolink, to the European Parliament.

Boris Johnson hosts European leaders in London
Boris Johnson pledged support for European countries as he opened the meetings on Tuesday

Mr Zelensky has also spoken frequently to Prime Minister Boris Johnson since the conflict started.

On Monday, the president promised to punish anyone who commits atrocities against the Ukrainian people.

“There will be no quiet place on Earth for you, except for the grave,” the president said.

On Monday evening, Mr Johnson spoke with US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with the four leaders agreeing to maintain pressure on Russia to isolate Mr Putin diplomatically and economically.

“The prime minister stressed that our goal must be ensuring Putin’s failure in this act of aggression against Ukraine,” said a No 10 spokeswoman.

At Prime Minister’s Questions last week, MPs stood to applaud Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, who watched parliamentary proceedings from the Commons gallery.

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