Zelensky Warns of 'Artificial' Arms Shortage Letting Putin Sustain War

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.17 - 2024 10:24 AM CET

Photo: Livestream
Photo: Livestream
Zelensky Warns of 'Artificial' Arms Shortage Letting Putin Sustain War.

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During the Munich Security Conference this weekend, world leaders convened against the backdrop of the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The conference began with an address by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, highlighting Russia's militarization under Vladimir Putin and the chilling impact of Navalny's death on those fighting for freedom and democracy.

According to a live stream provided by Finnish Iltalehti, Scholz raised a critical question about whether enough has been done in light of what Russia's victory in Ukraine would entail. He announced Germany's commitment to spend 2% of its GDP on defense in the coming decades and emphasized the need for Europe to do more independently of U.S. support. Discussions on long-range weapons development are underway with France and Britain.

The decisions by Finland and Sweden on NATO membership, new defense plans, and Germany's new defense funding signify unprecedented unity post-Russia's aggression, according to Scholz. He commented on Navalny's death as an indication of Putin's weakness and his typical modus operandi.

Addressing accusations of Western double standards in the face of war crimes, Scholz highlighted Israel's obligation to international law and the necessity of humanitarian aid access to Gaza, amidst what he described as Hamas's brutal assault.

"This is Russia's war against all rules."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky then took the stage, defending Ukraine as a bastion of the rule-based international order. He emphasized the broader implications of the war, stating, "This is Russia's war against all rules."

Zelensky argued for Europe's potential future responsibility for NATO's Article 5, independent of the U.S., and thanked those nations for their welcoming attitude towards Ukrainian refugees. He dispelled the Russian myth that Ukraine could not win the war, affirming, "Russia can lose, and Putin can lose. We can reclaim our territory, as proven more than once on the battlefield."

Highlighting the critical limitation of arms sufficiency, Zelensky underscored that maintaining Ukraine in an artificial arms shortage allows Putin to continue the war. He called for long-range weapons to counteract Russia's disregard for human life.

Addressing Navalny's death, Zelensky stated, "Putin kills whoever he wants," and deemed it absurd to consider Putin a legitimate leader after Navalny's murder. He outlined two grim prospects for Putin: facing trial in The Hague or being killed by someone currently killing on his behalf.

Zelensky justified the decision to withdraw from Avdiivka to save Ukrainian lives and argued that strengthening Ukrainian air defense would force Russian retreat. He warned that following Ukraine, Russia would aim to destroy Poland and the Baltic states, underscoring the urgency and gravity of the situation.

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