96.6 ° F
Full Weather
Sponsored By:

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy discusses further NATO support with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk

Sponsored by:

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday that he expects the upcoming NATO summit to provide specific steps to strengthen his country’s air defenses against Russia, hours after a Russian missile attack killed at least 31 people and wounded 154 others in various locations, including a children’s hospital in Kyiv.

Zelenskyy met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Warsaw to discuss further support for Ukraine from NATO, as well as signing a bilateral cooperation and defense document.

“We would like to see greater resolve in our partners and hear resolute responses to these attacks,” Zelenskyy told a joint news conference, stressing that Ukraine will take its own retaliatory steps.

“I can see a possibility for our partners to use their air defense systems in a way to hit .. the missiles that are carrying out attacks on our country,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy stopped in Warsaw en route to a NATO summit, which begins Tuesday in Washington, marking the Western defense alliance’s 75th anniversary. Leaders are expected to discuss ways of providing reliable long-term security aid and military training for Ukraine more than two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion.

At the start of the news conference with Tusk, Zelenskyy asked those gathered to observe a moment of silence for the victims of Monday’s airstrikes.

Tusk offered every available form of help for the children evacuated from the bombed hospital.

The two leaders signed a cooperation and defense agreement that spells out Poland’s continued support for Ukraine in defense, especially air defense, energy security for Ukraine, and Poland’s participation in reconstruction.

A legion of Ukrainian volunteers currently abroad will be trained in Poland with the aim of joining the defense effort on Ukraine’s soil, Zelenskyy said.

Poland will be represented at the NATO summit by President Andrzej Duda, who was scheduled to meet with Zelenskyy later Monday. Poland is among the staunchest supporters of Ukraine and has offered around $4 billion in military equipment, training and other items for defense. It is also offering humanitarian, political and economic support.

An initiative likely to be endorsed at the three-day summit is NATO taking more responsibility for coordinating training, and military and financial assistance for Ukraine’s forces, instead of the U.S. Europeans also are talking about giving Ukrainians a greater presence within NATO bodies, though there’s no consensus yet on Ukraine joining the alliance.

Tusk said that Poland will “continue to advocate among our allies that this path for Ukraine to reach the EU and NATO membership should be as fast as possible.”

Associated Press