Published: 2023-02-09 10:46
Last Updated: 2023-03-27 14:24
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday made his first visits to Britain and France since the Russian military operation almost one year ago, pressing his allies for more weaponry and in particular fighter jets, AFP reported.
Making just his second venture abroad since the military operation, Zelensky enjoyed a ceremony-filled day in London where he met King Charles III and addressed parliament.
His visit to France -- which by contrast appeared to have been squeezed in at the last minute -- saw him hold a late dinner meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, joined by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
But despite the contrast in formats, Zelensky's demands were the same -- more weapons, especially fighter jets and longer-range missiles, and faster deliveries.
"The sooner Ukraine gets long-range heavy weaponry, the sooner our pilots get planes, the sooner this Russian aggression will end and we can return to peace in Europe," he said in Paris.
Macron pledged that France would help Ukraine to victory in fighting the Russian military operation and would press on with efforts to deliver arms.
France is "determined to help Ukraine to victory and the re-establishment of its legitimate rights," he said, adding Paris would "continue the efforts" to deliver arms to Kyiv.
Scholz said Germany and its partners had backed Ukraine "financially, with humanitarian aid and with weapons", adding: "We will continue to do so as long as necessary."