Brussels: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to provide Kyiv with unrestricted military aid, one month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “To save people and our cities, Ukraine needs military assistance without restrictions. In the same way that Russia is using its full arsenal without restrictions against us,” he told a NATO summit representatives via video-link on Thursday.
While thanking members of the Western military alliance for the defensive equipment provided so far, he also appealed for offensive weapons. “You can give us one percent of all your planes. One percent of your tanks. One percent!”
Zelenskyy also accused Russia of deploying phosphorus weapons, which spread a powder that ignites when in contact with oxygen and causes severe burns. “This morning, by the way, phosphorus bombs were used. Russian phosphorus bombs. Adults were killed again and children were killed again,” Zelenskyy said. “The Alliance can once more prevent the death of Ukrainians from Russian strikes, from Russian occupation, by giving us all the weapons we need.”
U.S. President Joe Biden and other world leaders opened a trio of emergency NATO summits on Thursday with a warning from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that the alliance must boost its defenses to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “respond to a new security reality in Europe”.
The NATO summit is focused on increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine invasion while tending to the economic and security fallout spreading across Europe and the world. “We gather at a critical time for our security,” Stoltenberg said, addressing the leaders. “We are united in condemning the Kremlin’s unprovoked aggression and in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Over the course of Thursday, the European diplomatic capital of Brussels is hosting the emergency NATO summit, a gathering of the Group of Seven industrialised nations and a summit of the European Union. Biden will attend all three meetings and is expected to hold a news conference afterward.