Major Updates: Biden rules out Ukraine visit? Sunak says “nothing is off the table”
In his second trip abroad since the war began, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the European Parliament on Thursday as he seeks more military aid, including fighter jets and long-range missiles.
Ukraine and the EU are fighting together against Russia, stressed the president, who received a standing ovation before, during, and after his speech to European lawmakers.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has raised warnings about the ‘disappearing’ line between direct and indirect Western involvement in the conflict.
Zelensky, before his trip to Brussels, had held a late dinner meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, joined by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The meeting, which appeared to have been squeezed in in the eleventh hour, followed an earlier trip to London.
Biden appears to rule out Ukraine visit
US President Joe Biden has revealed the possibility of travelling to Poland in the coming weeks as the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looms. But he appears to have ruled out the possibility of visiting the war-torn nation, Financial Times reported.
The news of Biden’s possible first-time visit to Ukraine comes as Zelensky travelled around Europe and reiterated requests for more weapons, as the country prepares to counter a possible major Russian offensive.
Impossible to send Ukraine fighter jets in coming weeks: France’s President
Macron said Friday he’s “not ruling anything out”, but warned that even if Ukraine’s Western allies decide to supply Kyiv with combat aircraft they could not be sent in “the coming weeks”.
While Zelensky reiterated his requests for jets, heavy tanks, and long-range missiles in his recent trip to Europe, the country is also facing critical shortages in more basic supplies like artillery shells.
While British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said “nothing is off the table”, he hasn’t offered a concrete commitment regarding sending Ukraine fighter planes.
Ukraine’s allies have expressed reluctance towards deploying advanced Western fighter jets amid the growing possibility of provoking a further escalation by Moscow and risking open conflict between NATO and Russia.