EU allies vow more support for Ukraine at security conference as Putin hosts Lukashenko

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European leaders have vowed to intensify support for Ukraine as it battles to repel Russia, while Vladimir Putin hosted neighbouring ally Belarus’s leader for talks on expanding military and economic cooperation. .

EUROPEAN LEADERS HAVE vowed to intensify support for Ukraine as it battles to repel Russia, with France’s president underlining at a major security conference that the time was not ripe for talks with Moscow.

“We need speed – speed of our agreements, speed of our delivery… speed of decisions to limit Russian potential,” he said. While insisting he did not want to see a drawn-out war, he said France was ready for a “prolonged conflict”.Chancellor Olaf Scholz meanwhile insisted that German support was “designed to last”, and urged allies to speed up deliveries of heavy tanks promised to Ukraine.

Up until last month, he was facing accusations of foot-dragging over his reluctance to permit delivery of the German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine, despite increasing pressure from Kyiv. In his address, Zelenskyy reiterated his ambitions for Ukraine to join the European Union and NATO. Ukraine was recently granted candidate status for the EU, although full membership is a long way off.

DPA / PA Images French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish President Andrzej Duda and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz make a joint statement on the sidelines of the Security Conference. DPA / PA Images / PA Images The incident prompted a diplomatic rift, with Blinken cancelling a rare China visit. Beijing, however, says the balloon was just a stray weather research craft.

Russia used Belarusian territory to send troops into Ukraine nearly a year ago at the start of what the Kremlin calls its “special military operation.”

 

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