The UK’s new ambassador for Ukraine wore a kilt for his first assembly with President Vlodymyr Zelensky.
Father-of-three Martin Harris, 54, beforehand served from 2003 to 2008 in Kyiv as deputy head of mission and consul common, and raised his youngsters in Ukraine.
Mr Harris, who grew up in Scotlandwore his household’s Ferguson tartan for his initiation into the position, which was admired by President Zelensky.
After the battle broke out in February 2022, Mr Harris bought a tie made out of a tartan named “Ukraine Perpetually” as a gesture of solidarity.
Earlier this yr, Mr Harris spent a month in Lviv to refresh his fluent Ukrainian.
He went on vacation to Scotland lately and was moved to see the Ukrainian flag flying in rural Shetland.
Mr Harris mentioned: “The Ukrainians categorical their nationwide id strongly by means of conventional clothes, so I needed to put on my nationwide gown because the UK’s new ambassador. President Zelensky famous my kilt and lots of Ukrainians have complimented me.
“My kilt was in my household tartan Ferguson and I even have a tie in a tartan referred to as Ukraine Perpetually, which was created in solidarity with the nation after it got here below the full-scale assault.
“I’m honoured to steer the UK’s Embassy as we assist Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and democracy. Ukraine is defending the worldwide rules underpinning the UK’s safety, in addition to its personal.
“The braveness and resolve of the Ukrainian armed forces and persons are a relentless inspiration. It’s a privilege to be right here in Ukraine standing alongside them.
“Our relationship has by no means been nearer or extra essential. Collectively we’re stronger.”
Mr Harris will lead the Overseas, Commonwealth & Improvement Workplace (FCDO) on the British Embassy in Kyiv, after taking on from Dame Melinda Simmons.
Earlier postings included Moscowwhere he was concerned in a hostage state of affairs in 2002, and Afghanistan, and Mr Harris additionally served because the UK’s Ambassador to Romania.
Throughout his final stint in Kyiv, Mr Harris was caught up within the Orange Revolution, when pro-democracy campaigners demonstrated towards the rigged election lead to 2004.
Mr Harris mentioned: “That is my second posting to Ukraine. After I left in 2008, I believed I’d actually like to come back again as Ambassador, so this can be a dream come true. My household has an excellent affinity with Ukraine as a result of it’s the place my youngsters grew up.
“What has unfolded has been really heart-breaking for us. There was by no means a doubt I ought to tackle this position and their pleasure was tinged with disappointment they couldn’t include me to reside in Kyiv.
“I’m below no phantasm that this can be a harmful posting, however that is as a lot about defending the UK’s safety as about Ukraine’s safety. The circumstances Ukrainian troopers are dealing with on the entrance line are far more extreme.
“The individuals who deserve all of the credit score are the Ukrainian warriors on the entrance line.”
The UK’s complete army, humanitarian and financial assist for Ukraine now quantities to £9.3 billion – greater than any nation apart from the USA.