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Ukrainians sign petition to grant British citizenship, role of prime minister

Ukrainians sign petition to grant British citizenship, role of prime minister

Kyiv (July 26) (Reuters) – An unofficial petition to grant outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson citizenship and make him the country’s prime minister garnered more than 2,500 signatures hours after it was uploaded to the official Ukrainian petitions website on Tuesday.

Despite losing his domestic popularity and eventually being forced to announce his resignation after dozens of ministers’ departures in early July, Johnson remains a cult figure in Kyiv for his outspoken support of Ukraine in fighting the Russian invasion.

The paintings, murals, and even cakes in the Ukrainian capital resemble the man some Ukrainians affectionately call “Johnsonok”. Read more

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The petition, addressed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, lists Johnson’s strengths as “global support for Boris Johnson, a clear stance against the military invasion of Ukraine, (and) wisdom in the political, financial and legal spheres.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walk on Mikhailovska Square, as Russia’s offensive on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 17, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Posted via Reuters

However, the petition acknowledges one downside to this appointment: its non-compliance with the Ukrainian constitution.

In apparent coincidence, several hours after the petition was filed on Tuesday, Johnson awarded Zelensky the Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award for what his Downing Street office described as “incredible courage, defiance and dignity” in the face of the Russian invasion.

Zelenskiy did not mention the new petition when accepting the award, but he will be obligated to respond formally if he receives 25,000 signatures.

Zelensky conveyed the award via a video link from Kyiv, citing wartime British Prime Minister Churchill, as saying that Johnson “didn’t think about withdrawing from the conflict” when things got tough.

Reporting by Max Hunder. Editing by Sandra Mahler

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