Zelensky implores more lethal weapons at EU summit in Brussels
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warns that delays in sending fighter jets and long-range missiles could prolong the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday beseeched European leaders to deliver lethal weapons at a faster rate than they are being delivered.
He further warned that any delays in sending fighter jets and long-range missiles could prolong the war.
Zelenksy made these remarks while addressing a gathering of his EU allies via video link from a Ukrainian train.
The secure connection was briefly lost once, a European official told journalists at the summit.
"The delay in supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles is already significant ... We cannot delay the transfer of weapons to our soldiers, who can protect Ukrainians from terror," Zelensky said, according to a readout and video posted by the Ukrainian presidency.
Unsurprisingly, Zelensky thanked Poland and Slovakia for pledging Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine but asked for "more modern aircraft."
Zelensky also ordered the leaders to impose more sanctions on Moscow, speed up work on Ukraine's EU membership bid, and back a "peace plan" proposed by Kiev.
"Ukraine is ready for a decision on the start of accession negotiations on EU membership already this year. The same readiness is needed from all of you -- every leader in Europe," he said.
Zelensky said he had specified "five reasons that are prolonging the war and pushing peace further away".
It is worth noting that Kiev has constantly begged its Western allies to send modern warplanes and long-range missiles. However, Kiev's backers have so far refused to provide Western-made aircraft.
Supplying Ukraine with foreign 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.