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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 8 - 19 May 2023

This week, certain positive details of the work of President Zelensky during the last foreign visits are seen in the public sphere. Partners share details regarding the strengthening of military support for our state. Of course, long-range missiles and combat aircraft are the most pressing issues.

For example, an analytical article in The Washington Post notes that providing missiles to Ukraine is the best and only option. As Rishi Sunak noted in his speech, the front line of putin's aggressive war may be in Ukraine, but the fault lines extend throughout the world. It is in the interests of all of us to ensure the success of Ukraine.

Success in the counteroffensive and a prolonged war would require other countries to follow Britain's example. Supply of Storm Shadow cruise missiles could shape both the military and political context and play the role that the US Himars multiple rocket launchers once played. Himars allowed Ukrainian forces to destroy logistics centres, communication hubs and other important targets. Long-range missiles will provide an entirely different level of capability.

Germany also announced the provision of a package of military aid to Ukraine in the total amount of 2.95 billion dollars. This is an unprecedented amount. It almost doubles Berlin's total commitments since the russian invasion in February 2022. Mr. Scholz once again assured that Germany would support Ukraine as long as it is needed. As The Washington Post notes, this is a new page in the relations between the two countries.

France also stated that it would continue to provide political, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine as long as it is necessary, Bloomberg wrote. Also, both countries will cooperate on the issue of limiting the bypassing sanctions against russia.

The Washington Post published an interesting article - an interview with Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, on the issue of ending the war in Ukraine.

Mr. Stoltenberg noted that the war in Ukraine fundamentally changed NATO, but we must remember that the war did not start in 2022. The war began in 2014. Since then, the Alliance achieved the most significant increase in collective defence since the end of the Cold War. Mr. Stoltenberg emphasizes that all NATO allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance. All allies agree that Ukraine has the right to choose its own path, which should be decided by Kyiv, not by moscow. Currently, as Mr. Stoltenberg notes, the process of reforming and modernizing the defence and security institutions of Ukraine is underway. The urgent task for Ukraine is to survive as a sovereign, independent state, because if Ukraine does not win, then there is no issue for discussion at all.

Statements and trends this week clearly demonstrate that the partners understand their responsibility in this war and Ukraine's role as a shield of Europe. It is no longer necessary to remind about the importance of timely military assistance to our country on the eve of a counteroffensive. And Ukraine's membership in the Alliance is already a definite fact.

As the war in Ukraine grinds on, and the barbarism of Vladimir Putin’s forces grows more ghastly, taboos about which weapons systems should be given Ukraine for its defense have gradually broken down. It finally seems to be dawning on Western powers that the real escalation risk comes from Ukraine having insufficient means to defend itself.

That logic has informed Britain’s stance from the start of the war and continues. Earlier this year, the UK became the first country to send battle tanks to Ukraine. Last week, Britain announced it had dispensed with another taboo, sending long-range missiles to Ukraine.

While Germany is Ukraine’s second-biggest supporter when it comes to overall humanitarian, military and financial aid during the war — second only to the United States — this was Zelensky’s first trip to Berlin since the invasion began. His travels to the Netherlands, France and Finland all preceded his arrival in Berlin.

“I have said it many times, and I repeat it here today: We will support you for as long as it is necessary,” Scholz said. The weapons deliveries he outlined, which will include new IRIS-T air defense systems and Leopard 2 tanks, come as Ukraine prepares a counteroffensive against Russia.

“This is about fighting back an attack on Ukrainian territory,” he said.

The war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed NATO, but then you have to remember the war didn’t start in 2022. The war started in 2014. And since then, NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.

First of all, all NATO allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance. All allies agree that Ukraine has the right to choose its own path, that it is not for Moscow, but for Kyiv, to decide.

What I can say is that we are now working with them, to help them transition from Soviet-era equipment, doctrines and standards to NATO doctrines and standards, to make their armed forces interoperable with NATO forces, and to help them to further reform and modernize their defense and security institutions.

France will continue providing political, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine for as long as necessary, the presidential office said, adding the two nations will support efforts to curtail the circumvention of sanctions against Russia.

“France maintains its unshakeable support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, within internationally recognized borders,” the presidency said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged support for a coalition to help provide Ukraine with a fleet of Western-made fighter jets, although he stopped short during a surprise UK visit by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of promising actual aircraft.

“We want to create this jets coalition and I’m very positive with it,” Zelenskiy said after the meeting. “And I see that in the closest time you will hear I think some very important decisions. But we have to work a little bit more on it.”

France on Monday, May 15, promised Ukraine dozens more light tanks and armored vehicles after President Emmanuel Macron met Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris as Kyiv readies for a widely expected counter-offensive.

Fresh off stops in Rome and then Germany, Zelensky dined with Macron at the Elysée Palace on Sunday night, where the pair discussed boosting military aid. "In the coming weeks, France will train and equip several battalions with tens of armored vehicles and light tanks including AMX-10RC," they said in a joint statement afterward. They also called for fresh sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine "to weaken Russia's ability to continue its illegal war of aggress

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