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Putin won’t stop at Ukraine, Zelensky tells Munich Security Conference

17.02.2023 16:30
Ukraine will not be Vladimir Putin’s last stop, the Ukrainian president warned on Friday, urging the West to deliver weapons without delay to help his country repel Russia's invasion. 
Volodymyr Zelensky.
Volodymyr Zelensky.PAP/EPA/Sergey Dolzhenko

Volodymyr Zelensky spoke via video link to the opening ceremony of the annual Munich Security Conference, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The three-day global gathering in the Bavarian capital has attracted a host of senior Western officials, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, US Vice President Kamala Harris and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, according to news outlets.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki were also expected to attend the event.

Zelensky calls for Western weapons ‘without delay’ to fight Russian ‘Goliath’

In his video address from Kyiv, Ukraine’s president said it was “obvious” that his country would not be the last stop of Putin’s invasion and that the Russian president would continue on to other former Soviet countries, the Reuters news agency reported.

Zelensky also said it was crucial that there was “no delay” in the supply of weapons to help Ukraine battle Russia.

He warned that, while Western countries were negotiating the transfer of tanks to Ukraine, Russia was considering how to “strangle” neighbouring Moldova, according to Reuters.

"Delay has always been and still is a mistake," the Ukrainian president said in his speech to the conference, as quoted by Reuters. 

Goliath will ‘definitely fall’

Zelensky likened his country’s war against Russian aggression to a “David vs. Goliath” battle, stressing that Goliath had already started “to lose his ground,” the PAP news agency reported.

"The Russian Goliath" will “definitely fall already this year,” Zelensky said, calling on allies to make sure there was “no alternative to our victory,” as quoted by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.

NATO 'will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes’: Stoltenberg

Meanwhile, NATO's Stoltenberg declared that the Western military alliance and its partners "will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

The NATO chief also warned of "increased and stronger" military ties between Russia and China. 

He told reporters in Munich: “We are following closely the increased and stronger relationship between China and Russia. We see that they operate more together, they have exercises together, they have naval patrols, air patrols together and the war in Ukraine demonstrates that security is not regional, security is global.”

German chancellor urges allies to send tanks to Ukraine

Germany’s Scholz said in his speech to the Munich Security Conference that “allies who can deliver battle tanks to Ukraine should do so now,” according to Reuters. 

He added that Germany would facilitate this decision “by providing logistics and stock replenishment and by training Ukrainian soldiers,” The Guardian reported. 

The German chancellor stated: “For me, that is an example of the kind of leadership people can expect from Germany.”

French president calls for more military aid to Ukraine

Meanwhile, France’s Macron also urged allies to intensify military support to allow Ukraine to mount a counteroffensive against Russian forces, the Reuters news agency reported. 

The French president told the conference: “We absolutely need to intensify our support and our effort to the resistance of the Ukrainian people and its army and help them to launch a counter-offensive which alone can allow credible negotiations, determined by Ukraine, its authorities and its people.”

Macron also said that there can be no peace in Ukraine until Russia is defeated and that “Russia’s attack must fail,” according to The Guardian.   

Friday is day 359 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, The Guardian, nato.int