Zelenskyy says what he expects from NATO summit and what he will talk about with Macron

KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO — Saturday, 25 May 2024, 23:56

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine would like to receive seven Patriot air defence systems and a decision by the United States to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets as important outcomes from the NATO summit in July.

Source: Zelenskyy in an interview with The New York Times

Quote: "Then we can eventually get seven Patriot systems from NATO countries? Seven. We would like to close the airspace over all our regions and have 20 to 30. Let’s forget about that. Can we get seven? Do you think it is too much for the NATO anniversary summit in Washington? For a country that has been trying to become a NATO member since 2008? For a country that is fighting for freedom and democracy around the world today? 

This is just the practical result of the summit. And an American decision to give us its F-16s. Because without them, Ukraine will not have a fleet of 130 aircraft."

Details: Zelenskyy explained that seven Patriot systems are needed to cover several cities in Ukraine, "without which we will completely lose our economy and energy sector".

He also noted that Ukraine would like to be invited to join the Alliance, understanding that it will become a member only after the war is over, but "the US and Germany are not ready for this".

Zelenskyy said he plans to talk to French President Emmanuel Macron about the possibility of shooting down Russian missiles in Ukraine from NATO countries.

"When we talk about NATO countries discussing troops on Ukrainian territory, these are living people. I’m just responding to you, let’s take the first practical step. Shoot down what’s in the sky over Ukraine. And give us the weapons to use against Russian forces on the borders," he said.

When asked if he had asked Macron about this, Zelenskyy replied: "About the aircraft? No, I’m going to talk about it, but I asked other partners. I conveyed to all key partners that I believe it’s fair to shoot them down with aircraft. Let’s agree: The Russian Federation has a fleet with 300 aircraft that the Russian fleet uses against Ukraine. Three hundred aircraft. Our analysis told us that we need 120 to 130 F-16s or aircraft with high technical characteristics. Let’s agree: If Ukraine doesn’t receive such a quantity of aircraft for various reasons, why can’t a smaller number of aircraft located in NATO countries close our airspace? This is a reasonable option for today until we have F-16s. Not just that, I would say, until we have a number of F-16s adequate to the Russian fleet. Because when you only have a small number of F-16s, it’s undoubtedly insufficient to counter significant, serious attacks in many cases."

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