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Zelensky sacks his ambassador to UK after he backed Ben Wallace in row over ‘being grateful’ for Ukraine war weapons

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UKRAINE’S President Zelensky sacked his ambassador to Britain today after he backed Ben Wallace in a row over saying thank you for weapons.

Zelensky issued a decree dismissing Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko with immediate effect.

Zelensky sacked Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko with immediate effect

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Zelensky sacked Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko with immediate effectCredit: Getty
Prystaiko stood up for Defence Secretary Ben Wallace after a spat at last week's Nato summit

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Prystaiko stood up for Defence Secretary Ben Wallace after a spat at last week’s Nato summitCredit: AFP
Wallace said Ukraine needed to show more gratitude to Britain and other allies

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Wallace said Ukraine needed to show more gratitude to Britain and other alliesCredit: Reuters

Prystaiko, a former foreign minister, stood up for Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace after a spat at last week’s Nato summit.

Wallace said Ukraine needed to show more gratitude and not treat Britain and allies like an Amazon weapons delivery service.

Prystaiko said Zelensky was wrong to respond by mocking Wallace – one of Ukraine’s biggest cheerleaders.

Prystaiko also accused Zelensky of playing to Russian hands by revealing top level splits in public.

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He said: “I don’t believe this sarcasm is healthy.”

He also told Sky News: “We don’t have to show the Russians that we have something between us.

“They have to know we are working together.”

Wallace echoed US concerns that “doubting politicians” and members of the public wanted to see more thanks for their donations.

He said: “Whether we like it or not, people want to see gratitude.

“You know, we’re not Amazon. I told them that last year, when I drove 11 hours to be given a list.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan earlier said: “The American people do deserve a degree of gratitude.”

But Zelensky, a former stand-up comedian quipped: “We can wake up in the morning and thank the minister.”

Asked about Wallace’s comments, he added: “Let him write to me and tell me how to thank him.”

Speaking at a press conference, Zelensky called out to his Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, and asked: “Oleksii, you are here.

“Do you have bad relations with the defence minister?”

Reznikov replied: “Amazing!”

Amid a ripple of laughter Zelensky switched to English and said: “That’s great. You have to call him. Please.”

PM Rishi Sunak was quick to back Zelensky and distanced himself from Wallace’s remarks.

Allies of the Defence Secretary said: “You don’t ridicule your allies.”

Wallace, a former Army officer, led the charge with weapons donations including NLAW, Brimstone and Storm Shadow missiles, GMLRS and Star Streak rocket launchers and Challenger 2 tanks.

Wallace announced plans to step down at the next cabinet reshuffle after four years in the post.

He had hoped to be appointed as the boss of Nato – but US President Biden black-balled the UK bid to be Secretary General.

Prystaiko’s comments sparked fury in Kyiv after they were widely picked up on Russian TV.

The Sun revealed on Thursday that Prystaiko had faced a series of furious dressing downs from Kyiv.

Today President Zelensky issued a tersely worded decree “to dismiss Vadym Prystaik from the position of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenpotentiary of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland“.

He was also sacked from his role as permanent representative to the International Organisation of Migration.

British officials insisted Prystaiko has served as a vital link with Kyiv’s war time government and they praised his skills conveying Ukraine’s urgent demands with diplomacy.

But a UK source said: “Kyiv won’t accept any criticism of Zelensky.”

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He was last seen in public at Wimbledon’s Centre Court last week, when he watched Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina knocked out in the semi-final.

He later left the Royal Box to boycott a match with a Belarusian player in protest at that country’s support for Russia’s bloodbath invasion.

Ukrainian president Zelensky was accused of 'sarcasm' by his ambassador to the UK

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Ukrainian president Zelensky was accused of ‘sarcasm’ by his ambassador to the UK
Wallace advocated for Storm Shadow missiles to be handed to Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia

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Wallace advocated for Storm Shadow missiles to be handed to Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia


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