On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make an unexpected trip to Brussels where he will hold talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and participate in a meeting with NATO defense ministers.
During a press conference on Wednesday morning with Stoltenberg, Zelenskyy stated that his focus during the NATO defense ministers meeting would be the priorities for Ukraine and how to navigate the upcoming winter.
“I am here today because we require support from our leaders,” stated Zelenskyy. “Having long-range missiles or weapons is crucial, but the issue remains: how do we obtain them?”
Certain NATO member states have concerns regarding supplying Ukraine with weaponry that has a far-reaching range due to the possibility of it being utilized to launch an attack on Russian land. However, Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of having these weapons in order to safeguard specific geographical locations in Ukraine, such as energy infrastructure and transportation routes for grain exports.
Stoltenberg stated that Ukraine can anticipate additional statements being made on Wednesday regarding NATO countries’ pledge to increase aid for Kyiv.
“We must increase our efforts to provide support to Ukraine today. As stated by President Zelenskyy, this includes air defense, artillery, and ammunition. I anticipate that more NATO allies will make additional announcements today in order to offer further support to Ukraine. Our goal is to continue and increase our support for Ukraine.”
According to Stoltenberg, this will aid Ukraine in becoming a functioning and self-sufficient country, allowing them to produce, trade, and finance their own ammunition for the ongoing war.
Zelenskyy is scheduled to meet with Belgian Prime Minister De Croo on Wednesday, where he plans to discuss utilizing frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts following President Putin’s invasion. It is believed that Belgium holds approximately one third of the €300 billion in frozen Russian central bank reserves.
The Ukrainian President Zelenskyy stated that there are currently no confirmed plans for a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel. However, discussions are still ongoing and Ukraine is prepared to start talks on becoming a member of the EU.
Zelenskyy is currently on a trip in pursuit of obtaining modern fighter jets from Western allies. This is part of his ongoing efforts to combat Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy’s upcoming visit to Brussels will mark his second trip since the invasion began. He previously attended a summit of EU leaders in February, which received significant media attention due to news of the trip leaking days in advance.
Before the trip to Brussels, the president of Ukraine was in Bucharest on Tuesday, where he had a meeting with Klaus Iohannis, the Romanian president, to talk about regional security and the relationship between the two countries.
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