Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has called for more pressure on Moscow following his phone call with US President Joe Biden. According to the Ukrainian leader, they spoke about additional deliveries of heavy weapons.
“We discussed the course of hostilities and the processes taking place in Russia,” Zelensky said on Sunday evening. “The world must put pressure on Russia until international order is restored.”
Zelensky added that he and Biden discussed “further expansion of defense cooperation, with an emphasis on long-range weapons.” The Ukrainian leader added later in a video address that “the strengthening” of Kiev’s artillery and multiple rocket launchers were also on the agenda.
The White House released a short statement, saying that Biden “reaffirmed unwavering U.S. support, including through continued security, economic, and humanitarian aid.”
The conversation took place two weeks before the NATO summit in Lithuania, where members of the US-led bloc will focus on further aid for Kiev. Ukraine reportedly has high hopes for the meeting in Vilnius, expecting to receive a roadmap for NATO membership. The US, however, has opposed providing Kiev with a concrete path to join the alliance, according to multiple reports.
“Positive decisions for Ukraine in Vilnius are the only possible positive decisions for our common security in Europe and in the Alliance as a whole,” Zelensky said on Sunday.
Ukraine deployed US-made Patriot air defense missile systems this spring, and lost several German-made Leopard 2 tanks and US-supplied Bradley infantry fighting vehicles during its counteroffensive that was launched this month.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that the deliveries of Western weapons make NATO members de facto direct participants in the conflict. President Vladimir Putin said last week that the US-made F-16 fighter jets would be destroyed if Western countries were to send them to Ukraine.