19th July 2024
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Ukraine’s President Zelensky visits Granada for European summit

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in the Spanish city of Granada (Andalusia) on Thursday for a summit that brought together leaders from almost 50 European countries.

With the EU leaders using the summit to stress that they stand by Ukraine at a time when Western resolve appears somewhat weakened, Zelensky said that besides maintaining such unity, more military aid to get through the winter was essential.

Zelensky is lobbying his Western allies for more military aid and air defence systems ahead of what officials warn could be intensified Russian strikes over the winter.

‘Granada, Spain. Summit of the European Political Community. We will work in joint formats and have important bilateral meetings,’ Zelensky said in a social media post.

‘Europe must be strong’ despite what happens in other places around the globe, Zelensky said, calling for more air defense systems, artillery shells, long-range missiles and drones.

‘The key for us, especially before the winter, is to strengthen air defence, and we already have the basis for new agreements with our partners. We are preparing to confirm and implement them,’ he said.

Zelensky flew in early in the morning to the third meeting of the European Political Community forum, which was first proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The invasion drastically reset the EU’s political agenda and fundamentally undermined long-held beliefs on peace and stability on the continent.

Support from Europe has become all the more important after the United States Congress hastily sent President Joe Biden legislation over the weekend that kept the federal government funded, but left off billions in funding for Ukraine’s war effort that the White House had vigorously backed.

Russia has recently also ramped up attacks on Ukraine’s ports since exiting a deal allowing safe passage of shipments through the Black Sea.

Since Russia withdrew from the deal, Ukraine has been testing a new sea route and hopes to resume regular exports on the Black Sea.

‘Special attention should be paid to the Black Sea region and to working together for global food security and the protection of freedom of navigation,’ Zelensky said.

Like most leaders, summit host and Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stood firmly behind Ukraine and offered Zelensky a new package of anti-aircraft and anti-drone systems and training for Ukrainian soldiers to use them.

‘Welcome to Granada, President Zelensky,’ Sánchez posted on X (formerly Twitter). ‘We share the joint objective of guaranteeing the security and stability of our common European home. Ukraine counts on our support on its path to the EU. We will remain united, firm, until we achieve a just and lasting peace.’

After the individual meetings with Zelensky, the EU leaders visited the palaces of the Alhambra in Granada.

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