President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the leaders of three NATO member states who traveled to the war-torn capital of Ukraine for an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday and urged others to do the same.
Leaders from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia have come to Kyiv “without fear,” said Zelensky . speak after the meeting, added, “I’m sure that with such friends, with such countries, with such neighbors and partners, we will really be able to win.”
The leaders discussed not only increasing sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, but also “plans to rebuild our country after at the end of the war,” Zelensky’s office said, expecting an atmosphere of confidence although the brutal campaign prompted more two million Ukrainians to take refuge in neighboring countries.
Mr. Zelensky has sought to garner international support through the nightly videos he posts on social media, as well as virtual meetings with world leaders – including speeches to international leaders. US lawmakers on Wednesday.
But Tuesday’s meeting in Kyiv, which Russian forces have targeted but have so far failed to conquer, was a rare face-to-face meeting for Mr. Zelensky and outside leaders. At least one attendee wearing a green protective vest while sitting at the table with Mr. Zelensky, according to a photo posted on official website of the president.
Mr. Zelensky also invited other world leaders to join him in Kyiv, and again pressed the allies to enforce a no-fly zone over the country, which they resisted because of fears of being drawn into a no-fly zone. direct conflict with Russia.
“I invite all friends of Ukraine to visit Kyiv,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement posted on his official Telegram channel. “It can be dangerous here. Because our skies are not closed to Russian missiles and planes yet.”
He added: “You know for sure that the eyes of all the people of the world are now focused on our capital, on the Ukrainians.”