Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

BRUSSELS — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is wrapping up a whirlwind tour of his main European backers, already heading house with heaps of goodwill, guarantees of extra army help and, as {hardware} goes, France’s highest medal of honor.

The European Union’s 27 leaders have been awaiting the person in khaki in Brussels on Thursday, hoping to impress on him that the highly effective bloc is steadfast in its help of embattled Ukraine as Russia is feared to be making strikes for a brand new offensive across the Feb. 24 one-year anniversary of the conflict.

Flying in from Paris with President Emmanuel Macron, who honored him with the Grand Cross of France’s Legion of Honor, Zelenskyy can be stepping up from a half-dozen video addresses to the EU leaders over the previous yr to make use of his spectacular aura and oratory expertise in particular person to guarantee that nothing stalls in Europe’s steadfast help.

“The very fact stays the identical: Russia should not win this conflict,” stated German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

That want was particularly urgent Thursday. A U.S.-based assume tank reported that the Russian forces “have regained the initiative in Ukraine and have begun their subsequent main offensive” within the jap, largely occupied, Luhansk area.

“Russian sources are extensively reporting that typical Russian troops are attacking Ukrainian defensive strains and making marginal advances,” the Institute for the Research of Warfare stated in its most up-to-date report.

Zelenskyy can be utilizing the dais of the European Parliament to make his level in a plenary session, hoping to match Wednesday’s speech to Britain’s legislature when he thanked the nation for its unrelenting help.

That very same help has come from the EU. The bloc and its member states have already backed Kyiv with some 50 billion euros in help, supplied army {hardware} and imposed 9 packages of sanctions on the Kremlin.

After the solemn phrases at parliament, Zelenskyy will transfer to the urn-shaped Europa constructing for a working session with the 27 leaders.

Macron’s workplace has already confirmed the bloc “will reiterate Europeans’ unwavering help to Ukraine and the Ukrainian folks.” Few would count on something much less.

The EU is within the midst of brokering a brand new sanctions package deal price some 10 billion euros forward of the Feb. 24 one-year anniversary of the conflict. And there’s nonetheless loads of scope for exporting extra army {hardware} to Ukraine as a Russian spring offensive is predicted.

One matter that was not on the agenda in Britain however can be in Brussels is Ukraine’s need to grow to be a member of the European Union as quickly as attainable.

A high-profile go to to EU headquarters can solely add to the goodwill to assist his nation on to the highway of accession talks. Ukraine is speaking about becoming a member of the EU in a matter of years, whereas follow has proven it could take a long time earlier than aspiring members are thought of match to hitch.

Zelenskyy nicely is aware of that the EU generally strikes at a snail’s tempo whereas he himself needed to be lightning quick to stave off an early Russian victory and arrange a protection of his huge nation that only a few would have deemed attainable a yr in the past.

Now, after preliminary hesitation, EU nations have lastly began to step up their army contributions as nicely.

Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands introduced Tuesday that they plan to supply Ukraine with at the very least 100 refurbished German-made Leopard 1 battle tanks within the coming months. The announcement adopted Germany agreeing final month to permit deliveries of the extra trendy Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Past EU prime officers like summit host Charles Michel and Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, Zelenskyy ought to make time for bilateral conferences with leaders to press for extra {hardware}, starting from ammunition to warplanes — one thing the bloc as a complete doesn’t possess however particular person nations do.


Observe the AP’s protection of the conflict at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

By Admin

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