The United Kingdom will send 200 more Brimstone anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and train 10,000 more Ukrainian soldiers, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in parliament.
“Today I am able to announce a new package of 200 Brimstone anti-tank missiles, which will provide an additional boost to the defense of Ukraine. These missiles have already had a significant impact on the fighting, in one case forcing Russian troops to abandon a river crossing attempt and retreat,” The Guardian quoted Shapps as saying on Thursday.
PA Media also reports, citing the minister, that the UK will train the Ukrainian military together with other allies.
“Together, we will train another 10,000 people in the first half of 2024,” the UK Defense Secretary said.
Greek Foreign Minister Yorgos Gerapetritis said on Wednesday that the return of the Parthenon sculptures by the United Kingdom is a matter of justice and ecumenical cultural values, EFE news agency reports.
“I have to say that the return of the Parthenon sculptures is a demand based not only on history, not only on justice, but also on the principles of preserving cultural values,” Gerapetritis said upon arrival at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
The issue of Greek sculptures stored in the UK has recently caused a sharp deterioration in relations between Athens and London.
The day before, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak canceled a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was visiting London. The Guardian, citing sources, reports that “the meeting became impossible” after Mitsotakis called for the sculptures to be returned to Athens.
“I would like to express my irritation that the British Prime Minister canceled our planned meeting a few hours before it was to take place,” Mitsotakis said.
On Sunday, Mitsotakis gave an interview to the BBC, in which he reiterated his long-standing call for the return of ancient cultural monuments from the Parthenon to Greece, which are currently in the British Museum.
Sunak has repeatedly emphasized that he would not support a change in the law adopted in 1963, which prohibits the British Museum from “parting” with exhibits from its collection.
For many years now, Greece has been demanding that London return dozens of marble sculptures from the Parthenon, which were taken out of Greece in the early 19th century by British diplomat Lord Elgin when it was part of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1816, the British Museum acquired the ancient Greek art.
On the sidelines of the 3rd Summit of the European Political Community in Granada (Spain), President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak.
“During the meeting with Rishi Sunak, we discussed efforts to ensure long-term global support for Ukraine. Ukraine and the United Kingdom will continue and expand defense cooperation,” the president wrote on his Telegram.
According to him, they also discussed ways to export Ukrainian grain. In addition, an agreement was reached on the need to protect freedom of navigation in the Black Sea.
Some 94% of Ukrainians consider Poland a friendly country, 86% consider the United States friendly, 85% – the UK, 80% – Germany, 40% – Turkey, and 5% – China, according to a poll by the Rating sociological group in cooperation with public organization Transatlantic Dialogue Center.
At the same time, 2% of Ukrainians consider Poland a neutral country, 7% consider the United States neutral, 6% the UK, 14% Germany, 48% Turkey, and 52% China.
In addition, 1% of Ukrainians consider Poland to be an enemy country, 2% consider the United States to be an enemy, 1% – the UK, 2% – Germany, 4% – Turkey, and 34% – China.
The attitude towards Germany among Ukrainians has improved, as the percentage of assessment of its friendly country has increased from 65% last year to 80% this year.
“The attitude of Ukrainians towards China and Turkey is deteriorating in dynamics. If in October last year, China was considered rather a neutral country (63%), this assessment changed to a more neutral-negative one: 34% rated it as a hostile country, 52% as neutral. As for Turkey, its assessment as a neutral country has increased: 48% consider it neutral, 40% – friendly, while last year its assessment as a friendly country (51%) was more than neutral (39%),” the sociological group said.
The survey was conducted on June 1-2, 2023 among citizens aged 18 years and older in all regions, except for the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas, as well as territories where there is no Ukrainian mobile communication at the time of the survey. The sample is representative in terms of age, gender, and type of settlement. The sample was 1,000 respondents. The survey method is computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). The error is no more than 3.1%.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk will pay an official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 27-28 March.
According to the press service of the Verkhovna Rada, the program of the visit includes meetings with members of the British parliament. In particular, Stefanchuk will communicate with Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsey Goyle and Lord Speaker of the House of Lords D.F. McFaul, members of both Houses of Parliament, representatives of the UK-Ukraine Friendship Group and the Conservatives as Friends of Ukraine initiative group.
A number of bilateral meetings are also planned: with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former British Prime Minister, MP Boris Johnson.
During the visit, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between the offices of the Verkhovna Rada and the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Italian restaurants across the UK are being forced to reduce the amount of tomatoes in their dishes, and in some cases to remove them altogether, due to a catastrophic rise in the price of this key product for many dishes from the Apennines.
According to the Federazione Italian Cuochi (FIC UK), the prices of tomatoes in the kingdom have risen from £5 a pack to £20 over the past year. The price of canned tomatoes has doubled from £15 to £30.
The president of the association Enzo Oliveri said that these were very difficult times for Italian restaurants. He said FIC UK members usually order tomatoes from Italy, Spain or Morocco, but now, with shortages everywhere, it’s getting harder to get tomatoes.
“I don’t see any glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel,” Oliveri said, adding that many establishments will likely have to close.
Oliveri said some restaurants are trying to move away from using the ingredient and are starting to offer diners “white” pizzas and pastas that have no tomatoes at all. Chefs are using ricotta or vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant as a base or for sauces.
For his part, Carmelo Carnevale, president of the Italian Culinary Consortium, said tomato prices have tripled in the past two weeks alone. Restaurants are still getting the product, but in completely different quantities.
There is a shortage of fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes, in Britain. Supermarket shelves where they used to be located are now empty. Authorities cite weather in southern Europe and northern Africa as the cause, as well as high electricity prices in Britain and the Netherlands.