President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated on Friday that it was “clear” that President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine would not be the last stop, and that it was crucial that the West not put off arm delivery to assist deter Russian soldiers.
The head of Ukraine revealed via video link to the Munich Security Conference that while the West was negotiating tank supply for Kiev, the Kremlin was considering ways to “strangle” Moldova, a former Soviet republic that is located west of Ukraine.
“It’s obvious that Ukraine is not going to be his last stop. He’s going to continue his movement all the way … including all the other states that at some point in time were part of the Soviet bloc,” Zelenskiy said.
He urged the West to maintain speedy weapons deliveries. Kyiv’s allies have promised battle tanks and talks are under way about securing longer-range missiles. Ukraine’s partners though are hesitant about providing fighter jets.
“Delay has always been and still is a mistake,” Zelenskiy said.
He made his opening remarks in English as he addressed the conference days before Ukraine marks the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.
Despite his warnings, Zelenskiy said he did not think Russia could win.
He likened Ukraine to David and Russia to Goliath in the Biblical tale in which the underdog David wins, armed with a sling. He said David had defeated Goliath by action rather than conversation and that Goliath “has no chances”.
“We need the speed, speed of our agreements, speed of our delivery, to strengthen our sling – speed of decisions to limit Russian potential,” he said.
In a video address later on Friday, Zelenskiy said Ukraine could ensure the collapse of Russian aggression this year as long as it received the weapons it needed.
“A ‘tank coalition’ for Ukraine has been created, the taboo on the supply of long-range missiles is being lifted … and the world has already heard how important it is for global security to create an ‘aviation coalition’ for Ukraine,” he said.