Zelenskyy Lobbies the EU Heavily for More Advanced Weapons
Feb. 9, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took his crusade for fighter jets to meetings with the EU in Brussels, after his Feb. 8 visit to Paris where he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron accompanied Zelenskyy to Brussels.
Speaking today to the European Parliament, Zelenskyy portrayed Ukraine as the heart of Europe. Saving Ukraine is saving Europe, he remarked. “This is our Europe. These are our rules. This is our way of life. And for Ukraine, it’s a way home,” Zelenskyy said, referring to Ukraine’s aim to join the European Union. “Now I am here to protect the way home for our people.”
Addressing the special session of the European Council later in the day, he said:
“I am grateful to all of you who help us. I am grateful to all of you who understand how much Ukraine needs such capabilities, artillery and ammunition, modern tanks, long-range missiles, and modern aircraft. And I am grateful to all of you who provide such military assistance! We must strengthen the dynamics of our cooperation more than the aggressor can mobilize its potential.”
Zelenskyy also held a press conference at EU headquarters making the same appeal. In a meeting with EU leaders alone, he also indicated that some individual countries had already promised to send fighter jets. Although no concrete promises were made on the spot, if their earlier performance on his demands for tanks is any indication, the EU will soon be following the United Kingdom in approving new, advanced weaponry for Kiev.
The same day, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s office in Budapest released a statement saying that Ukraine could not become a member of the EU before it eliminated its prejudicial language law, which restricts not only Russian speakers but also the large Hungarian minority in the Trans-Carpathian region of Ukraine. Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyas told reporters, furthermore, that Hungary does not back Ukraine’s effort to join NATO, saying, “Ukraine’s immediate accession to NATO would mean world war.”