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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calls for swift weapon supplies to Kyiv

News Agencies | Updated on: 17 April 2022, 9:36 IST
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is calling on EU countries to supply Ukraine with more weapons as soon as possible, amid Russia's ongoing special military operation.

"For all member states, those who can, should deliver [weapons] quickly, because only then can Ukraine survive in its acute defensive struggle against Russia," von der Leyen said in an interview with the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, published on Sunday.

She added that everything possible needs to be done to help end the Ukraine conflict, although the hostilities could "last for months or even years in the worst case."

"Ukraine needs to get what it needs to defend itself and what it can handle," von der Leyen said, adding "I don't differentiate between heavy and light weapons."

Following his visit to Kyiv with von der Leyen earlier this month, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the conflict in Ukraine "will be won on the battlefield," reiterating the EU's unwavering commitment to providing further military support to Kyiv.

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has warned that a continuous flow of weapons to the conflict zone in Ukraine from the West is adding fuel to the fire, adding that halting lethal military supplies to Ukraine is crucial. Moscow has also warned that the weapons that the West supplies to Kyiv could end up in the hands of terrorists anywhere in the EU.

Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine and that only military infrastructure is being targeted.

After the start of Russia's military operation, the West rolled out a major sanctions campaign against Moscow. At the same time, over a dozen countries have voiced their readiness to supply arms and military aid to Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Borrell said following a meeting of the EU Foreign Council in Luxembourg that EU foreign ministers had agreed to continue military assistance to Kyiv.


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First published: 17 April 2022, 9:36 IST