Ukraine war: Zelenskyy asks G7 for natural gas and modern weapons as allies meet to provide aidComments
Ukraine's allies will meet in Paris on Tuesday to provide urgent aid to help the country get through freezing winter temperatures as Russian forces target civilian infrastructure across the country.
About 70 countries and institutions will discuss what can be offered between now and March to maintain water, food, energy, health and transport.
A second meeting between France, Ukraine and some 500 companies will see what can be invested and done in the short to long term.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed world leaders at a G7 summit on Monday, stressing that his country will need more ammunition, energy supplies as well as diplomacy.
In a virtual meeting with heads of state, such as UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden, Zelenskyy urged members to of the importance of gas supplies.
"I urge you to increase aid to Ukraine on the gas issue. Terrorism against our power plants has caused us to use more gas than intended. And that's why we need additional support this winter. We are talking about the volume of about two billion cubic metres of gas, something that needs to be purchased," Zelenskyy said.
His comments on gas supplies follow fresh Russian shelling on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure over the weekend. Reports suggest that Russian forces used Iranian-made drones to hit two energy facilities in Odesa leaving 1.5 million people cut off from electricity.
Scholz, who is the current G7 chairman, spoke shortly after the meeting to say leaders had agreed on protocols and mechanisms to coordinate financial support for Ukraine, but did not underestimate the challenges ahead.
"The reconstruction of Ukraine will be a task for mankind, perhaps comparable to the Marshall Plan after the Second World War," he said.
Meanwhile, in Paris, members of the National Assemblée held a dinner for Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Monday, ahead of Tuesday’s donor conference for the visitor’s embattled country. Shmyhal was met by his French counterpart Elisabeth Borne upon arrival.
Organised by the French government and foreign ministry, the objective of the conference is to help Ukraine persevere through the harsh winter ahead and to fund its post-war reconstruction.
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