Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (R) greets Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky at Chequers, the prime minister’s official country residence, near Ellesborough, northwest of London, on May 15, 2023. (Photo by Carl Court / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARL COURT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has revealed how he shared barfi (Indian sweets) made by his mother with Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the Ukrainian president’s recent visit to Downing Street.
Sunak, 43, posted a reel last 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.
Sunak made a quick visit to his hometown of Southampton last month to launch a government scheme for the NHS to expand the role of high street pharmacies.
He said, “They [Sunak’s 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.
“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.”
Sunak has often spoken about his family-run Sunak Pharmacy in 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 in May.
Sunak has developed a close bond with the Ukrainian president since taking charge at 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 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.