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West lacking ‘unity’ over Ukraine war: Zelenskyy

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (AFP) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said yesterday that the West remained divided over the extent of its support for Ukraine in its defence against Russia’s months-long invasion.

“Unity is about weapons. My question is, is there this unity in practice? I can’t see it. Our huge advantage over Russia would be when we are truly united,” Zelenskyy said during a panel discussion on Ukraine at the World Economic Forum.

Washington and European countries have poured billions of dollars’ worth of arms into Ukraine to help the country’s outgunned forces beat back the better-armed Russian invaders.

Kyiv has called for greater support, membership to the US-led NATO military alliance, and for a no-fly zone to be imposed over the country.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine was grateful for support from United States (US) President Joe Biden but said resolve was lagging closer to home.

“We are on the European continent and we need the support of a united Europe,” he added.

Zelensky specifically named neighbouring Hungary, which has voiced opposition to a European Union-wide embargo on Russian oil, another key Ukrainian demand.

“Hungary is not as united as rest of EU,” Zelenskyy said.

He also pointed to a lack of consensus over Sweden and Finland’s historic bid to join NATO, which has been called into question by Turkey.

“Is there this unity regarding the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO? No, no. So, is there a strong joint West? No,” the Ukrainian leader said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. PHOTO: AP Zelenskyy