Ukraine wants donors to give more money to ‘stop Russia’

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Copenhagen, Denmark — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called on Western countries to provide more funding UkraineAbout five and a half months after Russia invaded its neighboring country, the army continues to fight.

“The sooner we stop Russia, the sooner we can feel safe,” Zelensky said addressing defense leaders at a conference in Denmark.

Speaking via a live link from Ukraine, he said, “We need weapons, weapons to defend ourselves.”

The conference in Copenhagen is a follow-up to an April meeting at a US airport in Germany that established the US-led Ukraine Defense Liaison Group, which coordinates international military support for Ukraine.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksey Reznikov, who attended the conference in the Danish capital, told reporters that the country’s priority is to get more fighter jets.

“In the first phase, we need fighters. After that, demining, ”said Reznikov.

Denmark is co-hosting the day-long conference in Copenhagen along with the UK and Ukraine. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the goal of the event was to achieve “concrete steps”.

He announced that Britain says it will send more launch rocket systems and guided missiles to Ukraine to help it resist an invasion of Russia.

The new weapons, the numbers of which were not specified, come on top of a number of rocket-launch systems delivered by Britain to Ukraine earlier this year. Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in Britain to use them.

“Our continued support sends a very clear message that the UK and the international community oppose this illegal war and will stand shoulder to shoulder, providing defensive military support to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s aggression,” Wallace said. So to receive.”

Before the conference began, the Danish government said it would give Ukraine an additional 820 million kroner ($113 million), bringing Denmark’s total contribution to the war effort to more than 3 billion kroner ($413 million). Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredriksson called it “a huge donation”.

A portion of the money will pay for 130 Danish soldiers to help train the Ukrainian army in Britain in the coming months.

“We won’t let you down,” said Frederickson, opening the conference.

Norway’s Defense Minister Björn Erild Gram said there was still unwavering Western support for Ukraine.

“There is still very strong support to help Ukraine, that too in the long run. It is crucial for Ukraine to be able to defend itself against a Russian attack,” said Earl Gram.

The Kyiv School of Economics released a report on Wednesday estimating the cost of more than $110 billion of war damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure. The report said 304 bridges and over 900 health facilities were either destroyed or damaged.

——— Jill Lawless in London and James Brooks in Copenhagen contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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