June 21. 2024. 6:52

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Zelenskiy calls for West to give Ukraine ‘stronger sling’ for David-and-Goliath battle

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has demanded a united front from western allies to expedite arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that “it is speed on which life depends”.

Speaking via video link to the Munich Security Conference he likened Ukraine to David facing down a Russian Goliath who “won’t be defeated by the power of conversation but the power of actions, by the courage of the sling”.

“Courage is what we have but the sling should get stronger,” he said.

Mr Zelenskiy warned an international audience that, unhindered, the Kremlin was “thinking of ways to strangle Moldova” and “corrupt political systems to destabilise your social life with disinformation campaigns against your people”.

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Zelenskiy calls for West to give Ukraine ‘stronger sling’ for David-and-Goliath battle


Hoteliers owed six-figure sums for providing Ukrainian accommodation

Hoteliers owed six-figure sums for providing Ukrainian accommodation

Russia-Ukraine war: World leaders meet in Munich for security conference

Russia-Ukraine war: World leaders meet in Munich for security conference

Ukraine tensions and Chinese balloons to dominate Munich security conference

Ukraine tensions and Chinese balloons to dominate Munich security conference

“There is no alternative but to defeat Goliath who came to destroy our lives; there is alternative to our victor and there is no alternative to our determination of all of us,” he said.

On the first day of the three-day conference, attracting leaders, diplomats and security experts from around the world, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany is “planning for a long war”.

A year in, he said Berlin had “assumed the responsibility” that Ukraine and its partners expected. As continental Europe’s largest supplier of arms to Kyiv, Mr Scholz said Berlin would “continue to strike the balance the best possible support for Ukraine and avoiding unintended escalation”.

“It is not true that our arms supplies are prolonging the war, the opposite is true,” he said. “The sooner President Putin realises that he cannot achieve his imperial objectives, the greater the chances the war will end soon with the withdrawal of Russia’s occupying forces.”

To maintain European unity on supplies of arms and equipment, as well as additional training for Ukrainian soldiers, the chancellor offered German assistance and urged the EU to “pull together strategically when it comes to arms policy”.

[ Finn McRedmond: Zelenskiy has not written off Britain and neither should we ]

Echoing that call, President Emmanuel Macron of France said creating a “durable, credible peace” in Europe depends on closer EU co-operation on defence spending and for Europe to take its place in a future security order.

For Mr Macron, peace hinges primarily on helping Ukraine force Russia to accept its year-long war had been “crowned with defeats”.

Rather than choose a path of growth and innovation in the post-Cold War era, he said Russia tried to “fix its future with crazy dreams and ... resumed the old dream of empire based on hegemony and aggression”.

The French leader said he saw no signals from Russia at present that it was interested in negotiating, but said he was equally sceptical by those calling to push for regime change in Moscow.

“First we have to help Ukraine force Russia to come to the table on Ukraine’s terms,” he said. “The question then is to create an imperfect balance, allowing them to present something sustainable for Russia itself.”