Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Brussels on Thursday to push EU leaders for more weapons in its war against Russia and for a quick start to EU membership talks.
Hand on his heart, standing in front of the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag while his country's national anthem played in the European Parliament, Zelensky prepared to address the assembly before attending a summit of EU leaders.
While Zelensky is unlikely to leave with immediate pledges to satisfy his requests, the visit gives him a chance to press his case in person with all the EU's 27 national leaders for the first time since the Russian attack on February 24 last year.
The Netherlands is not ruling out any kind of military support for Ukraine, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters as he arrived in Brussels for the EU summit, while Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Nato countries should act jointly on the matter.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who last month said his country would supply its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, overcoming misgivings about sending heavy weaponry, did not go into specifics but said: "We will continue our support for Ukraine in the defence of its independence and integrity for as long as necessary."
Also arriving in the Belgian capital ahead of their meeting with Zelensky, Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said EU member states should jointly buy arms and ammunition for Ukraine.
"It is very important that we speed up the military aid to Ukraine," she also said. "We should give a clear signal to the European defence industry to produce more." (Reuters)