Zelenskyy arrives in Brussels for EU summit

Zelenskyy arrives in Brussels for EU summit
Опубликовано: Thursday, 09 February 2023 08:06

The visit marks the Ukrainian president’s third stop on a two-day tour through European capitals.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in Brussels for a day of meetings with EU leaders and lawmakers, a European Parliament official confirmed.

The visit marks the Ukrainian president’s third stop on a two-day tour through European capitals. On Wednesday, he made a surprise visit to London, where he urged the U.K. to donate fighter jets, before moving to Paris for dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

In Brussels, Zelenskyy is expected to huddle with EU leaders, who are gathered for a European Council summit, as well as address the European Parliament — creating a theatrical moment meant to illustrate EU unity with Ukraine as it prepares for an anticipated Russian offensive.

“It will be a strong sign that [Zelenskyy] will be at the summit,” Scholz said Wednesday night, speaking alongside Zelenskyy and Macron. “It is a sign of solidarity. Ukrainians are part of the European family.”

While the U.S. and U.K. have been Ukraine’s biggest individual military backers, EU countries have collectively pledged billions in financial assistance and arms donations for Kyiv.

Most recently, several European countries joined a coalition sending well over 100 modern tanks to Ukraine — a key request in Kyiv as it prepares for a renewed Russian offensive. A number have also expressed an openness to eventually offering Ukraine modern fighter jets.

Zelenskyy is also campaigning to accelerate Ukraine’s bid to join the EU — a process that can last a decade or more. Ukrainian officials have even pressed for a two-year process, a timeline many EU officials consider unrealistic.

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