The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Johnson urges Trump to back Kyiv amid weakening US support

- By Verity Bowman

BORIS JOHNSON met Donald Trump as he toured the United States this week in an apparent attempt to persuade the former president not to abandon Ukraine if he takes power.

As well as Mr Trump, who the former prime minister reportedly had dinner with on Thursday, Mr Johnson also met other Republican­s including Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state.

The two former leaders discussed “the situation in Ukraine and the vital importance of Ukrainian victory”, a spokesman for Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson has been a staunch ally of Ukraine and its President, Volodymyr Zelensky, repeatedly urging Western countries to do more to support Kyiv.

At a CNN town hall earlier this month, Mr Trump refused to say whether Vladimir Putin is a war criminal, or who he wanted to win in the conflict, saying only that he wants “everybody to stop dying”.

As president, Mr Trump had a close relationsh­ip with the man he once called “Britain Trump,” reportedly going so far as to give Mr Johnson his personal mobile phone number.

But their friendship appears to have soured recently, after Mr Trump accused Mr Johnson’s government of lurching towards the “far Left” over its support for renewable energy projects

“They really weren’t staying Conservati­ve,” he told GB News last month.

Support among the US public for sending weapons to Ukraine has suffered a sharp year-on-year decline, a new poll has found.

Just 50 per cent of Americans said in April that they strongly favoured or favoured the US sending weapons to

Ukraine, compared to 61 per cent last year.

Public support for economic sanctions against Russia has also dropped, the poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and NORC at the University of Chicago found, as well as the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees.

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