Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the US-led NATO bloc to ramp up support of his country amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, claiming that Kiev’s defeat would result in a “delayed” war between Moscow and the whole West.
Zelensky made the remarks as he addressed the NATO summit in Madrid via a video link on Wednesday.
“It’s either urgent aid to Ukraine sufficient for victory, or a delayed war between Russia and you,” Zelensky told NATO leaders.
The country needs both direct military and financial aid, Zelensky stated, adding that some $5 billion a month was needed to cover its budget deficit. Top Ukrainian officials have repeatedly called upon the West to provide financial support.
“Financial aid for Ukraine has no less significance than arms deliveries,” Zelensky said. “We need some $5 billon every month, you know that. And this is a fundamental thing, needed for defense and protection.”
“To help Ukraine now end this war with a victory on the battlefield, that is, to give a really strong response to Russia’s actions – this is what we, and the entire alliance, the whole Euro-Atlantic community need.”
Once the conflict is over, Ukraine must be provided with a decent place in the Western security architecture, Zelensky insisted, rejecting the prospect of Ukraine remaining in a “gray zone” between Russia and the NATO bloc. “We need security guarantees, and you must find a place for Ukraine in the common security space,” he stressed.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
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