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Zelenskiy to Ask EU Summit for Arms and Quick Accession – Ukrainian Official

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will ask a summit of European Union leaders on Thursday for more arms to fight Russia and powering ahead with Kyiv’s bid to join the EU, a senior Ukrainian official said on Wednesday.

Zelenskiy visited Britain on Wednesday, winning a pledge to train Ukrainian pilots on advanced NATO fighter jets, and was expected in the European Union hub Brussels on Thursday for talks among the 27 national leaders of the bloc.

“My president travels to get results,” said the Ukrainian official. “He is on a foreign trip today. First and foremost, the main result is – weapons … We need the support of the European Council to speed up arms deliveries to Ukraine.”

The official, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said Kyiv needed long-range artillery and multiple types of ammunition, as well as battle tanks and fighter jets.

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“We badly need as of now, as of yesterday, long-range artillery, all types of artillery ammunition. Ammunition, ammunition, ammunition, we use plenty of ammunition every day.”

“Battle tanks – the decision has been taken by several member states, but we have no tanks for now. This needs to be speeded up. We need fighter jets,” said the official.

The 27 EU leaders meet for what is called a European Council summit on Thursday to discuss more sanctions against Russia for waging the war on Ukraine, ways to hold Moscow accountable for attacking its neighbor, and how to use Russian assets frozen under existing sanctions to finance To install rebuilding Ukraine.

“We need the general support of the European Council to speed up arms delivery to Ukraine this month, next month. They will be crucial as Russia is planning an offensive … If we had all this already, we could be starting a counteroffensive. “

Zelenskiy would also ask EU leaders to move quickly on his country’s bid to join the Western bloc, as well as for support for Kyiv’s peace plan, according to the official.

“We are absolutely sure the decision to start accession negotiations can be taken this year,” said the official.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters,

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