Brussels – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is about to conclude a whirlwind tour of his main European supporters, but has already go home with a lot of good intentionswhich promised more military aid and, as hardware progressed, France’s highest medal of honor.
Twenty-seven European Union leaders waited for the man in khakis in Brussels on Thursday, hoping to impress him that the powerful bloc was steadfast in supporting Ukraine as Russia feared. I was there. Moves toward a new offensive Around the first anniversary of the end of the war on February 24th.
Zelensky, who flew out of Paris with President Emmanuel Macron, who was awarded the Grand Cross of France, has stepped up from half a dozen video speeches to EU leaders over the past year, showing off his impressive aura and speech. use skills. Please meet in person so as not to derail Europe’s firm support.
“The facts remain the same. Russia cannot win this war,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The need was especially pressing on Thursday. A US-based think tank reported that Russian forces “regained the initiative in Ukraine and launched the next major offensive in the largely occupied eastern Luhansk region.”
“Russian sources widely report that regular Russian forces have attacked Ukrainian defense lines and are making small advances,” the War Research Institute said in its latest report.
Zelensky used the European Parliament’s podium to make his point in the plenary session, and thanked the public for their unwavering support in an address to the British parliament on Wednesday.
The same support is coming from the EU. The bloc and its member states have already backed Kyiv with around 50 billion euros in aid, provided military equipment and imposed her nine sanctions packages on the Kremlin.
After a solemn speech in parliament, Zelensky will travel to the urn-shaped Europa building for a working session with 27 leaders.
Macron’s office confirmed that the bloc “reiterates the Europeans’ unwavering support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” Few people expect anything less than that.
The EU is in the process of brokering a new sanctions package worth around €10 billion ahead of the one-year anniversary of the end of the war on February 24. And with Russia’s spring offensive expected, there is still plenty of room for exports of military equipment to Ukraine.
One of the topics scheduled for Brussels, which was not on the agenda in the UK, is Ukraine’s desire to become a member of the EU as soon as possible.
A high-profile visit to EU headquarters only adds to the goodwill to help the EU get on the road to accession negotiations. Ukraine talks about joining the EU within a few years, but the reality is that it could be decades before an aspiring member state is considered fit to join. It is
Zelensky is well aware that the EU can sometimes move at a snail’s pace, but he has managed to stave off Russia’s early victories, overcoming vast swathes that few thought possible a year ago. He himself had to respond with lightning speed to establish a strong national defense.
Now, after initial hesitation, EU countries have finally begun to step up their military contributions.
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine on Tuesday At least 100 refurbished German-made The Leopard 1 tank is coming in the next few months. The announcement follows Germany’s agreement last month to allow the delivery of more modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Beyond high-ranking EU officials such as summit organizer Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Zelensky also finds time for bilateral meetings with leaders to move from ammunition to fighter planes. Until then, you should find the time to demand more hardware. do.
Follow AP’s war coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/02/09/zelenskyy-wraps-up-european-tour-with-visit-to-eu-summit/ Zelensky concludes European tour with visit to EU summit