Paris (EFE).- The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, asked France and Germany on Wednesday for the rapid delivery of modern combat planes and more heavy weapons in order to end the war caused almost a year ago by the Russian invasion as soon as possible.
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“The sooner we have heavy weapons and modern aircraft, the faster this war will end and we can return to peace in Europe,” Zelensky said in a statement along with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before a working dinner at the Élysée where, among other things, the continuation of Western military support for kyiv will be discussed.
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The Ukrainian leader already discussed the delivery of combat aircraft in his meeting this afternoon with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who noted that “all options are on the table” and said they agreed to the training of Ukrainian pilots so they can pilot the devices if their delivery was decided.
“I speak of the weapons necessary for the war because it is necessary to stop the war,” he insisted in Paris.
Macron assures Zelensky that he will accompany Ukraine to victory
Macron, host of tonight’s meeting, assured Zelensky of his “determination to accompany him to victory” over the Russian invasion.
“What is at stake in Ukraine is the future of Europe, we are very aware,” said the French leader.
«Ukraine can count on France, its European partners and its allies to win the war. Russia cannot and must not win it,” Macron added before the discussion.
Macron recalled that Zelensky’s last visit to the Elysee was in December 2019 for a summit of the so-called “Normandy format” (France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine) to try to “avoid the worst”. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was also at that meeting.
“Russia must not win this war”
For his part, Scholz considered “a strong sign” that Zelensky will attend a meeting of heads of state and government of the European Union tomorrow in Brussels, since “Ukraine is part of the European family.”
“Russia must not win this war,” Scholz said in line with Macron.
Zelenski will attend a session of the European Council tomorrow in Brussels in which the continuation of Community aid to Ukraine is one of the main points of discussion.
The Ukrainian president will spend the night in Paris, according to some local media in a hotel, and the same sources suggest that tomorrow he could travel to Brussels on the same plane as Macron, although the Elysee has not offered details for security reasons.
Prior to this trip to various European capitals, Zelensky had only visited two foreign countries since the start of the Russian invasion, the United States and Poland.
Shipment of Leopard and Challenger tanks
In the heavy weapons chapter, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark announced today that they will jointly deliver a total of more than 100 Leopard 1 A5 heavy main battle tanks to Ukraine, which they will complete by 2024.
As other European countries prepare shipments of Leopard 1 or 2, and the UK finalizes shipment of Challenger tanks, kyiv has upped its ante in recent days by ordering modern fighter-bombers from the West, as its air force is made up of models of ex-Soviet technology. and it has suffered severe wear and tear during this year of war.