Zelenskiy to lobby European leaders at Brussels summit – ThePrint –

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(Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was preparing to lobby European leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday for more weapons in the fight against Russia and a speedy start to his country’s EU accession talks.


* Zelenskyy began his European tour on Wednesday in London, where he received a British pledge from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to train Ukrainian pilots in advanced NATO fighter jets.

* Zelenskyy met French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for dinner talks in Paris. Both pledged further support to Ukraine.

* The Russian embassy in Britain warned London on Wednesday against sending warplanes to Ukraine, saying such a move would have “military and political consequences for the European continent and the whole world,” the TASS news agency reported.

* The United States, which has refused to send Kiev F-16 fighter jets, is expected to announce a $2 billion weapons package in the coming days that would include missiles with bombs longer than the last double sent year.

* Western partners could deliver the first battalion of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine in the first three or four months of this year, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Wednesday during a trip to Warsaw.


* International prosecutors said they found “strong evidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the use of a Russian missile system in Ukraine that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The Kremlin, which has repeatedly denied Russian state involvement in the past, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

* Russian authorities are discussing a one-off corporate budget contribution of about 200-250 billion rubles ($2.8-3.5 billion) this year, three sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters, as Moscow seeks to to contain its growing budget deficit.

* Western sanctions against Russia have significantly reduced state oil revenues and diverted tens of billions of dollars to shipping and refining companies, some of which have ties to Russia.


* Russian attacks in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk remained intense on Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said. Moscow’s armed forces are concentrated in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Aviivka oblasts, the General Staff said on Facebook.

* Kiev says it expects Moscow to escalate that offensive in a major push as the February 24 anniversary of the invasion approaches.


* “France and Germany have the potential to change the game and that’s how I see our talks today,” said Zelenskiy. “The sooner we get long-range heavy weapons and our pilots get modern planes… the sooner this Russian aggression will end.”

(Report from Reuters offices; Compiled by Michael Perry)

Disclaimer: This report is automatically generated by the Reuters news service. ThePrint assumes no responsibility for their content.


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