UK PM Rishi Sunak shares mum’s homemade Indian ‘barfi’ with Ukraine President Zelenskyy

Britain's Indian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed that he shared some barfi (Indian sweet) made by his mother with Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Downing Street recently, hours before his latest phone call with the Ukrainian president today.

The 43-year-old British Indian leader posted an Instagram reel over the weekend on his official Instagram account of an interview during which he shared the moment his mother Usha’s homemade delicacy was enjoyed by the Ukrainian leader.


A post shared by Rishi Sunak (@rishisunakmp)

The incident goes back to last month when Sunak made a quick visit to his hometown of Southampton to launch a new government scheme for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) to expand the role of high street pharmacies.

“They [parents] were upset because I had come to visit the pharmacy that my mum ran earlier in the week, I hadn’t told them I was back in Southampton, they were very upset; they tried to come and see me, but it wasn't possible,” he said.

“My mum had got some Indian sweets that she wanted to give me that she'd made, called barfi, that she couldn’t give me then but then she managed to give them to me at a football match, which was important to her.

"Oddly enough, I saw President Zelenskyy on the Monday after that, and he and I were chatting, and he was hungry. So, I actually gave him some of my mum's barfi… she was thrilled by that,” he said.

Sunak has often spoken about his family-run Sunak Pharmacy in the southern England port city of Southampton, where he was born and helped out his mother as a schoolboy.

“When I talk about the NHS, I’m talking about my family’s calling. My dad [Yashvir] was a doctor, and I grew up working in the pharmacy… with my mum,” he said last month.

Sunak has developed a close bond with the Ukrainian President since taking charge at 10 Downing Street in October last year and assured him of the UK’s diplomatic and military support in the country’s conflict with Russia.

Zelenskyy, 45, last visited the UK in early May, when the Sunak-led government confirmed that Britain will supply long-range missiles to Ukraine in support of its counter-offensive in the ongoing conflict.

On Monday, Sunak updated Zelenskyy on his recent visit to the US and his meeting with President Joe Biden, and assured him that “the US and UK were in lockstep in their unwavering support for Ukraine”.

Sunak has developed a close bond with the Ukrainian President since taking charge at 10 Downing Street in October last year
Sunak has developed a close bond with the Ukrainian President since taking charge at 10 Downing Street in October last year. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RishiSunak

“The Prime Minister paid tribute to the bravery of the Ukrainian soldiers on the front line of the counter-offensive and said it was clear they were making good progress. He told President Zelenskyy that the UK was firmly behind Ukraine as it continued to push back invading Russian forces,” Downing Street in a readout of the call.

“Both the Prime Minister and President Zelenskyy looked forward to speaking at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, which is being hosted in London this week. It was a unique opportunity to underline the strong public and private sector support for Ukraine, and demonstrate the country’s transformation and ongoing reform, the leaders agreed,” the statement reads.

The UK is hosting a two-day 'Ukraine Recovery Conference' in London on Wednesday and Thursday, jointly with Ukraine, as part of efforts to mobilise international support in favour of the country in its ongoing conflict with Russia. (PTI)

(Except for the headline and introduction, this story has not been edited by Connected to India's staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)