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Zelenskyy urges NATO to help Kyiv now, before the US election

Daryna Krasnolutska, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged NATO allies to act decisively in helping his country repel Russia’s invasion instead of “waiting for November” in an oblique reference to the U.S. presidential election.

Speaking at the start of a three-day summit of the alliance’s leaders in Washington on Tuesday, Zelenskyy called on the U.S. to take further steps in allowing his military to hit targets, including air bases, inside Russia ƒand assist the country with deep-strike capabilities in Crimea.

“It’s time to step out of the shadows, to make strong decisions work, to act and not to wait for November or any other month,” Zelenskyy said at the Reagan Institute in Washington. “To this end, we must be strong and uncompromising. All together. And first of all America.”

The firm tone of the address underscores the sense of urgency that Ukraine is feeling with the war well into its third year and the prospect of Donald Trump’s returning to the White House following the election.

The presumptive Republican presidential candidate has decried the billions of dollars spent on Ukraine’s defense and has boasted that he’ll end the war by the time he’s inaugurated in January. Zelenskyy challenged Trump to present the plan on how to end the conflict in a Bloomberg TV interview last week, warning any proposal must avoid violating his nation’s sovereignty.

 

Earlier on Tuesday, NATO allies promised five long-range air-defense systems for Ukraine, part of a push to counter a stepped-up Russian campaign of missile strikes. In a summit statement this week, the alliance is expected to offer Kyiv an “irreversible” path to membership, provided it makes necessary reforms meant to clean up corruption.

Zelenskyy signaled the move will fall short after his country has long hoped to receive an invitation to join the alliance.

“For 75 years, Europeans could be confident that no matter the friction within the alliance – no one, when talking to Russia, would trade the membership of European nations,” he said. “But why does Moscow hope for this now? And why do the words ‘Ukraine is a NATO member’ cause more fear not in Moscow?”

He urged the U.S. to show leadership so that “our enemies such as” Russian President Vladimir Putin “fear our actions,” Zelenskyy said. “Don’t wait months — America can be great every day.”


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