Zelenskyy calls for long-range weapons during EU summit
Lviv, Ukraine, Feb 3 (EFE).- Ukraine’s army needs long-range weaponry to “liberate” the war-battered city of Bakhmut from Russian encirclement, president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday during a meeting with European Union leaders in Kyiv.
“We will fight for as long as we can. We consider Bakhmut our fortress,” the leader said of the city in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian and Russian forces have been locked in heavy fighting.
He added during a summit with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel that faster weapons supplies from Western allies, especially long-range ones, would help the country recover Bakhmut and the wider Donbas area of east Ukraine.
Zelenskyy also called on the EU to slap fresh sanctions on Russia, which he described as a “terrorist state.”
The topic of a 10th round of EU sanctions on Moscow was broached during a meeting with EU officials on Thursday, with von der Leyen suggesting a new package could be prepared in time for the anniversary of Russia’s invasion on February 24.
At a joint press conference with Zelenskyy and von der Leyen, Michel said the EU would “not be intimidated by the Kremlin”
“This first message is for you and the people of Ukraine,” he said. “ The EU will support you in every way we can for as long as it takes.”
Von der Leyen added: “Russia and Russian society is already paying a high price because of the sanctions that we imposed.”
She said the 10th package was “on its way” and would have an estimated impact worth 10 billion euros.
Ukraine applied for EU membership soon after the Russian invasion began in February last year. In June, the European Council granted the war-torn nation candidate status.EFE