Kiev unable to launch counteroffensive: Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky states that Ukraine is currently waiting for its allies to supply it with weaponry.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has revealed that under present circumstances, Kiev is currently unable to launch a counteroffensive, blaming the situation on weapons shortage.
"We can't start yet. We can't send our brave soldiers to the front line without tanks, artillery and HIMARS [multiple launch rocket systems]," Zelensky said in an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun daily.
He continued, saying that the situation in the country's east is "unfavorable" and that Ukraine is currently waiting for its allies to supply it with weaponry.
This comes shortly after Zelensky beseeched European leaders to deliver lethal weapons at a faster rate than they are being delivered, as he addressed a gathering of his EU allies via video link from a Ukrainian train.
He further warned that any delays in sending fighter jets and long-range missiles could prolong the war.
It is worth noting that Ukraine has constantly pleaded with its Western allies to send modern warplanes and long-range missiles. However, most of Kiev's backers have so far refused to provide Western-made aircraft.
Supplying Ukraine with Western jets or allowing the use of foreign airfields by Ukrainian jets to attack Russian targets would, according to Russia, be considered "the involvement of these states in armed conflict." So far, this consideration has driven the US and NATO decision-making on how they aid Ukraine, which is why it seems that the West may back down on supplying Ukraine with fighter jets, at least for the time being.
Read next: Ukraine arms supplies not as fast as promises of abundance: WaPo
Commenting on Zelenzky's remarks on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron assured that EU leaders informed Zelensky that they would support Kiev.
EU leaders also backed on Thursday a plan to fasten the delivery of ammunition to Ukraine, the acquisition of artillery rounds in bulk, and the expansion of Europe's own military manufacturing capacity. The EU approved a $2.14 billion plan earlier this week to give Ukraine one million rounds of ammunition.
Read more: Ukrainian troops running low on ammunition, abandoning their positions