Zelenskyy meets Macron, Scholz in Paris after UK trip to ask for fighter jets
Paris/Berlin, Feb 8 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was traveling to Paris to meet with the leaders of France and Germany on Wednesday evening.
His surprise trip to Paris to meet president Emmanuel Macron and chancellor Olaf Scholz comes after he visited the United Kingdom earlier on Wednesday, as Zelenskyy looks to boost European military support for Ukraine.
In London, Zelenskyy met with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak before addressing lawmakers at Westminster Hall, where he thanked the country for its backing but also called for the UK to provide fighter jets.
After Sunak met with Zelenskyy, a Downing Street spokesperson said the prime minister had tasked his defense secretary Ben Wallace with investigating what jets could be sent to Kyiv “as a long-term solution”.
Zelenskyy is also expected to travel to Brussels, where a European Council leaders’ summit is taking place on Thursday and Friday, with continued support for Ukraine high on the agenda.
Prior to this trip, Zelenskyy had only left Ukraine once since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion nearly a year ago, to visit the United States and Poland in December.
Ahead of his journey to Paris, Scholz reiterated his country’s commitment to helping Ukraine during an address to the Bundestag on Wednesday morning.
“We will not allow one country to appropriate part of another through violence and thereby call into question the principles of our peace order in Europe,” Scholz said.
The chancellor said the EU would toughen sanctions against Russia on February 24, the day of the first anniversary of the war, as a “way of signaling to Putin that he will not succeed in his imperialist plans.”
The Berlin government, as well as giving the green light to its allies to ship German-made “Leopard 2” tanks, has committed to sending around 100 units of the predecessor “Leopard 1” model to Ukraine over the coming year. EFE