Vadym Prystaiko told LBC with host Iain Dale Ukrainians have been singing “God save the Queen” and adopted the British war propaganda phrase Keep Carry on, adapting it to “Keep calm and support the Ukrainian army”. Mr Prystaiko explained that history never allowed Ukraine to be close with the UK but Russia‘s recent bout of hostile behaviour had allowed the two countries to grow closer.
Mr Dale said: “How is the United Kingdom viewed in Ukraine at the moment? “
Mr Prystaiko said: “Simple answer is people are singing God Save the Queen next to your embassy and it’s very popular.
“Keep calm and support Ukrainian army is a very very popular sign right now all over Ukraine.
“The history never allowed us to be close to you for different reasons, we’re rediscovering Britain, you’re discovering Ukraine, it’s a long process.
Mr Prystaiko said: “You know people still don’t understand what is the difference between Ukrainians and Russians, maybe they are the same people what is the role of this particular place and all of it, we’re just starting it.
“But we do believe that this is one of the nations we would like to be, to be friends.
“If you’re building a global Britain, that’s a friend for you on the other side of the European continent.”
Mr Dale said: “And obviously you’ve got family and friends back in Ukraine, all the people I talk to in Ukraine seem to be remarkably calm.”
Mr Dale added: “And yet the view we have here is oh my God a war is coming, panic panic panic.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is one of many global political figures to warn Russia that if they invade Ukraine they will face harsh sanctions.
Ms Von der Leyen said: “We are hoping for the best but we are prepared for the worst. We now have two distinct futures ahead of us: in one the Kremlin decides to wage war against Ukraine with massive human costs, something we thought we had left behind after the tragedies of the 20th century.
“Moscow’s relations with us would be severely damaged, tough sanctions would kick in with dire consequences on the Russian economy and its prospects of modernisation.
“But another future is possible. A future in which Russia and Europe cooperate on shared interests. A future where free countries work together in peace.
“A future of prosperity built on the fundamental principles enshrined in the UN charter and the European security architecture since the Helsinki final act.”