Zelensky asks NATO for 1% of alliance’s jets, fighter tanks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed on to NATO leaders Thursday for simply “one percent” of the alliance’s mixed fighter jets and tanks to assist the nation repel Russia’s month-long invasion.

“Ukraine needs military assistance — without restrictions — as Russia uses, without restrictions, its entire arsenal against us,” Zelensky mentioned in a video deal with to the leaders of the Western alliance.

NATO leaders, together with President Biden, are assembly in Brussels to debate subsequent steps of their assist of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian chief repeated his request for NATO nations to resupply Kyiv’s navy {hardware}.

“You have thousands of fighter jets! But we haven’t been given any yet,” Zelensky mentioned. “You have at least 20,000 tanks! Ukraine asked for one percent — one percent — of your tanks to be given or sold to us. But we do not have a clear answer yet.”

“We asked for tanks, so that we can unblock our cities that are now dying: Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol, and others,” he continued. “Cities where Russia is keeping hundreds of thousands of people hostage and artificially creating famine.”

“We just want to save our people,” Zelensky mentioned. “We want to survive.”

The NATO summit at their Belgium headquarters to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine on March 24. 2022.
The NATO summit at its Belgium headquarters to debate Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on March 24. 2022.
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Ukraine’s request for further fighter jets has been a hotly contested concern among the many NATO alliance. Ukraine flies some of the identical Soviet-era MiG fighter jets which are nonetheless in service in Slovakia and Poland, each NATO member states. But each international locations — and the alliance as a complete — have expressed considerations that offering fighter jets to Ukraine will probably be seen as an act of struggle by Russia.

US officers have repeatedly claimed that further fighter jets wouldn’t considerably increase the Ukrainian air power, which has continued to efficiently interact Russian jets in Ukrainian airspace for the previous month.

Zelensky mentioned Thursday, nevertheless, that his fleet of fighter jets is dwarfed by the Russian air power, which continues to hold out airstrikes in opposition to civilian targets.

President Joe Biden (left) listens as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (center right) addresses a North Atlantic Council meeting during an extraordinary summit.
President Biden (left) listens as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (heart proper) addresses a North Atlantic Council assembly throughout a rare summit.
EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images

“You see the consequences today — how many people were killed, how many peaceful cities were destroyed.”

He requested once more for one p.c of the alliance’s fighter jets and armor, including that Ukraine couldn’t merely purchase the specialised weaponry on the open market with out NATO’s blessing.

“The worst thing during the war is not having clear answers to requests for help.”

NATO heads of states stand together for a family picture during an extraordinary NATO Summit on March 24, 2022.
NATO heads of state stand collectively for a household image throughout a rare summit on March 24, 2022.
EPA/Radek Pietruszka POLAND OUT

“I’m sure you already understand that Russia does not intend to stop in Ukraine,” Zelensky mentioned.

The Ukrainian president then requested the jap members of the NATO alliance — Poland and the Baltic states — if they’d religion that the alliance would shield them from Russia, as it’s obligated to do below Article 5 of the alliance.

“Do you have confidence that Article 5 can work?” he requested.

President Joe Biden (left) talks with French President Emmanuel Macron (center) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Left).
President Biden (heart, from left) talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Brendan Smialowski, Pool by way of AP

“‘Budapest’ hasn’t worked for us already,” he mentioned, referencing the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, through which Ukraine agreed to give up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons in return for safety ensures from the United States, United Kingdom and Russia.

Zelensky’s request comes as Ukrainian forces reportedly earned hard-fought victories in a counter-offensive outdoors Kyiv Wednesday.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned Thursday that Ukrainians are “definitely becoming more effective on the battlefield.”

has repeatedly claimed that additional fighter jets would not significantly augment the Ukrainian air force.
President Biden has repeatedly claimed that further fighter jets wouldn’t considerably increase the Ukrainian air power.
Evelyn Hockstein, Pool by way of AP

“We now have indications that they’ve actually pushed Russian forces further to the east [of Kyiv],” he informed Fox News. “So the Russian forces had advanced somewhere between 20 to 30 kilometers (12 to 18 miles) to the east of Kyiv. The Ukrainians, just in the last 24 hours or so, pushed them back to about 40 to 50 kilometers (24 to 31 miles) away.”

“In the north of Kyiv, what we’re seeing is the Russians take a real defensive posture. They are no longer trying to advance. They’re simply going back now into that defense,” he added.

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