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Zelenskyy Urges NATO Allies for Increased Military Aid Amid Russian Conflict

Kyiv, April 20, 2024, The Europe Today: In a stern address to NATO defense ministers on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that the alliance’s commitment to being true allies will hinge on their willingness to provide Ukraine with critical military aid to counter Russia’s ongoing aggression.

Zelenskyy expressed disappointment over the limited Western aid received by Kyiv, contrasting it with the substantial support extended to Israel. He stressed the urgent need for seven additional US-made Patriot air-defense systems to secure Ukrainian skies and counter the relentless Russian onslaught.

During his remote video address to NATO ministers, Zelenskyy highlighted the severe impact of Russian attacks, revealing that Ukraine has endured over 1,200 Russian missiles, 1,500 drones, and 8,500 guided bombs. He underscored the critical role of air-defense systems in safeguarding Ukrainian lives and transforming the conflict dynamics.

Describing the dire need for swift action, Zelenskyy emphasized, “Putin must be brought down to earth, and our sky must become safe again… and it fully depends on your choice… the choice whether we are indeed allies.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged Ukraine’s urgent requirements, assuring that allies would step up their support. Stoltenberg highlighted alternative air-defense systems like the French-Italian SAMP/T and pledged financial aid towards their procurement for Ukraine.

In addition to air-defense systems, Zelenskyy called for expedited delivery of critical munitions, citing delays in promised ammunition shipments. He urged NATO allies to act swiftly, emphasizing the economic and strategic importance of supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression.

Addressing delays in US funding for Ukraine, Zelenskyy emphasized the necessity of new support packages from the United States, which have faced political obstacles. A $62 billion Ukraine aid package is set for a House vote on Saturday, underscoring ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities amidst the prolonged conflict with Russia.