It was revealed today that David Cameron’s first trip as Foreign Secretary was to Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the former Tory leader paid tribute to Boris Johnson and his support for Ukraine.
The former prime minister appeared in Kiev this morning in a video shared by the president of Ukraine on social media.
Cameron’s selection for his working visit abroad comes just days after his shock appointment by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following the sacking of Suella Braverman.
He said: “I wanted it to be my first trip. I’ve had some disagreements with my friend Boris Johnson, but I’ve known him for 40 years and his support for you was the best thing he and his government have ever done.
Zelensky made the announcement in a post on the Telegram messaging app, where he posted a short video of both meetings. This was also shared on Twitter.
“Weapons to the front line, strengthening air defense, 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 photos of him and Cameron shaking hands.
The visit was not announced in advance. 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
Meeting of the new Foreign Minister David Cameron (third from the right) with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky (third from the left) in Kiev
The talks also touched upon the issue of the war in Gaza. Zelensky said he was grateful for this gesture, which comes in the context of the conflict in the Middle East.
“The world is not that focused on the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine and this distraction really doesn’t help,” he added.
Cameron is under pressure to reveal his links to “Chinese interests” after it emerged that Beijing welcomed his shock return to cabinet.
Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons raised the issue of the new Foreign Secretary’s work with an investment fund “designed by the Chinese state”, while other MPs highlighted his controversial lobbying activities since leaving No 10.
His foreign policy record also came under scrutiny in the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the reshuffle, with Rishi Sunak calling hosting the G8 summit a decade ago his greatest achievement.
This came after a newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party praised Lord Cameron’s “exceptional understanding of China”.
The Global Times article described the “golden era” of relations between the two countries during Cameron’s presidency, including the famous pint he shared with President Xi Jinping at a pub near Checkers.
However, Lord Cameron’s activities since leaving No 10 on the morning after the EU referendum were ridiculed by Labor leader Sir Keir during PMQs yesterday.
“A few months ago, the Intelligence and Security Committee concluded that the current Minister of Foreign Affairs’ role in the Chinese investment fund may have been – in her words – ‘designed by the Chinese state.’ When will he instruct the Minister of Foreign Affairs to fully publicly disclose his work on behalf of Chinese interests?
Sunak responded that he was “delighted” to have Lord Cameron back, praised his “unrivaled experience” and insisted he would “undergo the normal process with an independent adviser” on ministerial interests.
Xi Jinping eats fish and chips with David Cameron in a Buckinghamshire pub in 2015