Ukraine’s Foreign Minister has made in an in-person plea to Nato for more weapons to “serve the purpose of peace” and to help his country defend itself against Russia.
Speaking from Nato‘s Brussels headquarters, where foreign ministers from the alliance will meet this afternoon, Dmytro Kuleba said he had only three items on his agenda: “Weapons, weapons and more weapons.”
“The Ukrainian army and the entire Ukrainian nation has demonstrated that we know how to fight, we know how to win, but without sustainable and sufficient supplies of all weapons requested by Ukraine, these wins will be accompanied with enormous sacrifices,” he told reporters.
“The more weapons we get and the sooner they arrive in Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved. The more cities and villages will not be destructed and there will be no more Buchas.”
“I call on allies to put aside their hesitance, their reluctance to provide Ukraine with everything it needs because as weird as it may sound, today weapons serve the purpose of peace,” said Mr Kuleba.
He criticised countries making the distinction between “offensive” and “defensive” weapons. French president Emmanuel Macron has previously resisted calls to supply tanks and jets to Ukraine, arguing it would cross a “red line” and risk drawing Nato directly into the conflict.
What weapons is Ukraine asking for?
Ukraine is asking for new supplies of weapons including that could include war planes, heavy air defence systems and armoured vehicles.
Mr Kuleba said there was no distinction between offensive and defensive weapons, and that any weapon would be used to defend his country.
At least 18 countries have sent weapons to Ukraine, including the US and the UK. These include anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, drones, Mi-17 helicopters and field artillery.
Ahead of today’s Nato meeting, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called for Russia to be hit with the “maximum level” of sanctions and for more weapons to be supplied to Ukrainian forces to help them push back against Russian troops.
She said the “age of engagement” with Russia was now over, with Europe needing a new security based on “defence, deterrence and resilience” following the emergence of atrocities which have been widely condemned as war crimes.
According to The Times, UK military chiefs are currently drawing up plans to send armoured vehicles to Ukraine in the belief that the next three weeks will be “critical” in determining the outcome of Russia’s invasion.
Options reportedly being considered by the Ministry of Defence include protected patrol vehicles or long-range patrol vehicles that could help Ukrainian forces to repel Russian troops.