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All Western aid decisions for Ukraine lag by one year – Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President characterized the current situation as one big step forward, but two steps back before that.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, May 2024. Photo:
All Western aid decisions for Ukraine lag by one year – Zelenskyy

Western countries are extremely slow in making decisions on military aid to Kyiv, hampering Ukraine’s armed forces, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an exclusive Reuters interview on the fifth anniversary of taking office.

“Every decision to which we [Ukrainians], then later everyone together [with Western partners], comes to is late by around one year,” he said.

Zelenskyy cited the American Patriot air defense systems as an example, saying if they had been provided early when Russia had few drones and mainly used missiles, Moscow would have seen their missiles being shot down, making strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure pointless. He described the current situation as “one big step forward, but two steps back before that.”

Zelenskyy suggested Western allies could help more directly by shooting down Russian missiles over Ukrainian territory to protect civilians.

“Can they do this? I’m sure that yes. Is this an attack by NATO countries, involvement? No,” stated the President.

The Ukrainian leader also said Kyiv is negotiating with partners to use their weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

“So far, there is nothing positive,” he said.

While the US resists Ukrainian calls to use its missiles on internationally recognized Russian territory fearing escalation, Britain became the first ally allowing Ukraine to use its weapons this way.

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