Zelensky Addresses EU Leaders, Pleads for More Weapons

February 9, 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday, asking for more military equipment.

“I’m here in order to defend our people’s way home,” Zelensky said while speaking to hundreds of EU lawmakers and top official in the European Parliament. 

He added, “I want to thank you for supporting us, for understanding us, for understanding that we need artillery guns, the ammunition, the tanks, the long-range missiles and the fighter jets. We are grateful to you for giving us this military support.”

Zelensky also praised the EU for weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels. The E.U. banned imports of Russian seaborne imports of crude oil last year, and an embargo on oil products kicked in earlier this week.

It follows an announcement Friday that the EU would unveil its 10th package of sanctions against Russia on February 24, marking one year of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The EU address was part of a rare trip outside of Ukraine by Zelensky. On Wednesday, he addressed British Parliament during a visit to London where he was greeted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and later met with King Charles III. 

“We know Russia will lose and we know victory will change the world,” Zelensky told British lawmakers.

Zelensky’s first wartime trip out outside Ukraine was in December to the U.S., where he pleaded for more military support in an address to Congress, saying that the funding was not charity but “an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.”

In Brussels on Thursday, Zelensky also thanked the EU for awarding candidate status to Ukraine, saying it “motivated us to be strong and stay the course.”

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, told Zelensky during her introduction that “Ukraine is Europe, and your nation’s future is in the European Union.”

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