Paris, Feb 9 – Visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for more fighter jets amid the ongoing war.
Zelenksy met the two leaders in Paris on Wednesday evening following his day-long trip to the UK, the BBC reported.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Macron and Scholz, the Ukrainian leader said that France and Germany had potential to be “game-changers” in the ongoing war against Russia by providing Kiev with “battle tanks, modern fighter planes and long-range missiles”.
“An effective continental alliance in Europe is needed by all Europeans. Putting an end to Russian aggression as soon as possible is the most rational thing to do.
“The sooner Ukraine receives long-range weapons, the sooner our pilots receive modern aircraft, the stronger our tank coalition is, the sooner Russian aggression will end and we will return a steadfast peace to Europe,” he said.
On his part, Macron said that Ukraine could count on France’s support and that the country was “determined to help Ukraine to victory and the re-establishment of its legitimate rights”.
Chancellor Scholz assured Zelensky that “we stand closely by your side and support Ukraine in its heroic defensive struggle — humanitarian, financially, and with weapons”.
“And we will continue to do so as long as it takes. Because Ukraine belongs to the European family,” he added.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian leader will head to Brussels where is will make more requests for fighter jets during his meetings with other European Union (EU) leaders.
Following his arrival in London on Wednesday morning where he was received by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Zelensky addressed the British Parliament and urged the country to supply fighter jets in an effort to to support Ukraine’s war efforts.
“We know freedom will win. We know Russia will lose. We know the victory will change the world! The UK is marching with us towards the most important victory of our lifetime. It will be a victory over the very idea of the war.
“After we win together, any aggressor big or small will know what awaits him if he attacks international order.
“Any aggressor who will try to push the boundaries by force. Who will inflict destruction and death on other peoples. Who will try to endure his dictatorship at the expense of other people’s blood in criminal and unprovoked wars, as the Kremlin does. Any aggressor is going to lose,” he told a crowd of MPs and peers in Westminster Hall.
Zelenksy also met King Charles III and addressed a joint presser with Sunak during which the latter said “nothing is off the table”.
The is the first time that Zelensky visited London and Paris since Russia launched the war on February 24, 2022.