UKRAINE: Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of the conflict-torn Ukraine, pleaded with Western allies on Friday to speed up their military assistance to his beleaguered nation, warning at a significant international security conference that delays would give Russia more time to prepare for its upcoming first anniversary of the invasion.
Zelensky said at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, “There is no alternative to speed because it’s the speed that life depends on.” About 100 nations, including the United States, Europe, China, and about 40 heads of state and government, lawmakers, and security experts, were expected to attend the three-day conference.
Zelensky compared Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion to David and Goliath in the Bible, saying his country had David’s courage but needed assistance getting the sling. Zelensky pleaded for more Western weapons, saying Ukraine had David’s courage but needed help getting the sling.
Zelensky promised that his country would beat Moscow’s attack in the end, but he warned that Russia “can still kill many people.”
“That is why we need to hurry up,” Zelensky stated. “We need the speed.”
Zelensky portrays Ukraine as defending Western ideals of freedom and democracy against tyranny and contends that his nation has to be adequately armed to repel Russia’s significantly greater military. Despite their support, Western nations must catch up in order to comply with their demands.
Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who has sometimes been one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters, said that his country is still willing to help but warned Kyiv’s partners not to act too quickly.
“Even though there is probably a lot of pressure to act quickly on this important question, care must come before haste, and teamwork must come before solo performances,” Scholz said.
Last month, Berlin agreed to provide Ukraine with Leopard battle tanks produced in Germany and to offer other countries permission to do the same. German officials, who came under intense pressure to take that action, have since expressed disappointment that more other nations haven’t followed suit.
At times, ally nations have been put under pressure due to the necessity of providing Ukraine with military assistance costing billions of dollars. After receiving Western commitments of tanks and more ammo, Kyiv is now looking for fighter jets, but several nations have expressed reluctance to provide them. French President Emmanuel Macron endorsed Zelensky’s appeal.
For the first time in twenty years, the conference’s organisers did not invite Russian representatives to Munich. It was the most recent snub as Western nations work to diplomatically isolate Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 24, 2022.
According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the conference’s activities will overshadow Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. Next week, the conflict will have been going on for two years. Western officials and observers say it is about to reach a critical point.
As per Pistorius, the conflict “is not merely a European conflict” and has effects well beyond the continent. The war’s effects on grain supplies, oil prices, and inflation have hurt economies worldwide.
The leaders of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom were also going to be at the Munich summit, along with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Harris highlighted American concerns that Russia was going to attack its neighbour at the same meeting last year, held only days before Putin launched troops into Ukraine, and stated, “Not since the end of the Cold War has this forum convened under such dire circumstances.”
The White House stated that Harris would make a case for continuing U.S. support for Ukraine for however long it takes in a speech scheduled for this Saturday. Harris will outline what is at stake in the conflict and why it matters.
The 27-nation EU has, so far, kept its unity on the matter, as per Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the EU’s executive commission. Timmermans also voiced hope that China may pressure Russia to stop the conflict.
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