A critical week of diplomacy for Ukraine arrives on Wednesday, when President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as Ukraine redoubles its plea for more advanced weapons.
Ukraine’s new assault on weapons such as tanks and air defense missiles began in earnest on Tuesday, when General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, held his first face-to-face meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in Poland. almost 11 months after the Russian invasion.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the defense ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will meet in Brussels to take stock of aid to Ukraine. They will be joined on Friday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany by officials from a wider group of countries that have been coordinating aid to Ukraine. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will lead those discussions, including the crucial question of whether to send Western tanks.
Kiev’s main supporters agree that it is a waste of time to allow the Ukrainian army to break and drive back the brutal standoff with Russian forces in the east and south. At the same time, Ukraine is facing rocket attacks that have destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and an expected Russian offensive this spring.
In his late night speech on the eve of his speech in Davos, Mr. Zelensky that Kiev “lobbied for more global pressure” on Russia while in Davos, where world and business leaders gathered for a week.
“The world belongs to Ukraine in Davos,” he said before noting recent acts of Russian violence in Ukraine, including Saturday’s attack on an apartment building in the central city of Dnipro that killed 45 people far from the front lines.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that this support becomes truly global and that all influential actors in international relations take steps to end Russian aggression and return security,” said Mr. Zelensky .
He will address the forum via video link a day after Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, implored world leaders to use their influence to support Ukraine. She outlined a 10-point peace plan announced by Mr Zelensky in November that includes the total withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kiev, is also in Davos.
The Dnipro attack has added urgency for some leaders. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told President Biden on Tuesday that the Netherlands intends to follow the example of the United States and Germany and send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine. He said the Dnipro attack strengthened “our determination to stay with Ukraine”.
At a meeting in Washington on Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly defended his country’s decision to supply Ukraine with 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks, the first Western tanks in Ukraine’s armed forces, and tens of thousands of additional ammunition . . Mr Cleverly said the aid package would not only have a “significant positive impact” but also encourage other countries to do more.
The post Zelensky to address Davos meeting in diplomacy marathon week. first appeared in the New York Times.