World

Ukraine wants donors to give more money to ‘stop Russia’

COPENHAGEN, Denmark –

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday called on Western nations to provide more money to help Ukraine’s military continue fighting nearly five-and-a-half months after Russia invaded its neighbour.

Zelenskyy said while addressing defense leaders at a conference in Denmark aimed at increasing funding for weapons, training and demining in his country.

“We need weapons, ammunition for defense,” he added via a direct link from Ukraine.

The Copenhagen conference follows an April meeting at a US airbase in Germany where the US-led Ukraine Defense Liaison Group was established, which coordinates international military assistance to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who attended the conference in the Danish capital, told journalists that buying more fighter jets is a priority for the country right now.

“In the first stage, we need fighters. Then, demining,” said Reznikov.

Denmark is co-hosting the one-day conference in Copenhagen with the UK and Ukraine. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the goal of the event was to ensure “concrete steps.”

He announced that Britain said it would send multiple launch and guided missile systems to Ukraine to help it fend off the Russian invasion.

The new weapons, whose numbers were not specified, top several missile launchers that Britain gave Ukraine earlier this year. Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK to use them.

“Our continued support sends a very clear message that the UK and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder to shoulder in providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help Ukraine fight back. help them fend off Putin’s invasion,” Wallace said.

Before the conference began, the Danish government said it would provide Ukraine with an additional 820 million kroner ($113 million), bringing Denmark’s total contribution to the war effort to more than 3 billion kroner ($413 million). ). Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called it “a huge donation.”

Part of the money will go to 130 Danish soldiers to help train Ukrainian forces in the UK in the coming months.

“We won’t let you down,” Frederiksen said as she opened the conference.

Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said there was still Western support for Ukraine.

“There is still a very strong support to help Ukraine, in the long run. It is important that Ukraine can defend itself against a Russian attack,” said Arild Gram.

The Kyiv School of Economics released a report on Wednesday estimating the cost of war damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure at more than $110 billion. The report said 304 bridges and more than 900 healthcare facilities were destroyed or damaged.


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Jill Lawless in London and James Brooks in Copenhagen, contributed to this report

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