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Zelensky to address the Commons as Johnson continues diplomatic offensive

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Mr Zelensky will address the House of Commons at 5pm by video link after Speaker Lindsay Hoyle approved a request for a “historic address” from the Ukrainian president who, according to reports, is at risk of assassination by pro-Russian groups in Kyiv.

He gave an address to the European Parliament last week and imparted a virtual message to the US Senate on Saturday, with the embattled leader expected on Tuesday to renew messages from those speeches to MPs, including pushing for the West to install a no-fly zone over Ukraine and for more arms to be delivered.

The Prime Minister, who speaks with Mr Zelensky on a regular basis, has consistently ruled out the UK policing Ukrainian skies, arguing it would mean shooting down Russian planes.

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

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister stressed that our goal must be ensuring Putin’s failure in this act of aggression against Ukraine.”

The Foreign Secretary met with the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, on the same evening.

Liz Truss tweeted afterwards that the UK is working to “cripple” Russia’s war effort and to rally the international community.

“The UK will do all we can to support the Ukrainian people. Putin must fail,” she added.

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson will host leaders of the Visegrad Four of central European nations – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – to discuss the conflict.

The diplomatic efforts on the international stage comes as the UK Government faces domestic pressure to speed-up its efforts to grant safety to fleeing Ukrainians, with Labour criticising the process for being “painfully slow”.

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