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Zelensky in Brussels to sign bilateral security agreement

On tour in Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected on Tuesday. Brussels where he must sign a bilateral security agreement to strengthen the military resources of kyiv, in difficulty; in the war which opposes him à Moscow.

The Ukrainian leader must travel for a few hours to Belgium to sign this text with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, according to the Belgian Chancellery, then meet the Belgian King Philippe.

At midday, Mr. Zelensky must finally go to the Melsbroek military airport, near Brussels, where Belgium is expected to reiterate its commitment to supplying F-16 fighter jets to kyiv.

Since February 2022, Belgium has promised to help Ukraine to the tune of 1.2 billion euros, including 916 million planned for 2024 alone, according to Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder. Belgian Defense has also trained “nearly 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers”.

The Ukrainian president's visit to Belgium comes during a tour of several European capitals which is to take him later Tuesday in Lisbon.

During his stop in Madrid on Monday, Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West to force Russia into peace “by all means”, at a time when kyiv is demanding the ability to use Western weapons to strike Russian territory.

– After Brussels, Lisbon –

Americans and Europeans have so far refused to let Ukraine strike positions and bases -rear in Russian territory with Western weapons for fear of an escalation, giving a certain advantage to the Kremlin forces. This question, however, is beginning to be debated among the allies.

Questioned on Monday on the subject while welcoming Mr. Zelensky, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared, evasively, not having “this will”.

Zelensky in Brussels to sign bilateral security agreement

A man mourns at a memorial for soldiers killed in combat, May 27, 2024 on Independence Square in kyiv © AFP – Roman PILIPEY

“We will be alongside Ukraine as long as it takes”, however repeated Mr. Sanchez, announcing new military aid of one billion euros for 2024, in the part of a security agreement with kyiv.

A new envelope “which will allow Ukraine to strengthen its capabilities” according to the Spanish leader, some two years and three months after the invasion launched by Moscow.

Ukraine is demanding in particular American Patriot anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems, arguing that it currently has only a quarter of the means it needs.

We must “put pressure not only on Russia, but also on our partners so that they give us the opportunity to defend ourselves”, declared Mr. Zelensky in Madrid.

< p>Following on from Belgium, Mr. Zelensky is due to travel to Portugal on Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Luis Montenegro and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, with a view to “strengthening cooperation in the field of security and defense” with the Portuguese authorities, they announced.

Mr. Zelensky is expected at 2:45 p.m. local time (1:45 p.m. GMT) at the Prime Minister's residence to sign a “bilateral security commitment agreement”, according to Mr. Montenegro's office.

The Ukrainian president has never visited Portugal, which, in February 2023, committed to delivering three Leopard 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine.

– New Russian advances –

On the ground, facing a Ukrainian army in difficulty, Russian forces continued to advance, claiming the capture of two new localities in eastern Ukraine.

A new strike on an industrial zone in Kharkiv killed a woman on Monday, according to the governor of the region where at least 16 people died in a Russian attack on a DIY hypermarket on Saturday.

Zelensky in Brussels to sign bilateral security agreement

A firefighter works in the rubble of a DIY store hit by a Russian strike, May 26, 2024 in Kharkiv, Ukraine © AFP – SERGEY BOBOK

In the south of the country, at least three people were also killed and six others injured in a Russian strike on Snigourivka, a village in the Mykolaiv region, its governor announced.

Since the beginning of May, Russia has continued to gain ground in Ukraine. To do this, it recruited heavily by offering attractive sales and mobilized the military industry to support its war effort.

A little less than three weeks from a summit for peace in Ukraine planned in Switzerland, Mr. Zelensky rejected the proposal from China and Brazil to invite Russia, believing that it would “block everything”.

Moreover, after initially announcing the imminent arrival in Ukraine of French military instructors, the military authorities in Kiev clarified that the question was being studied, but not yet decided.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116