A group of 10 northern European nations has pledged to further help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. The Joint Expeditionary Force was set up in 2014 to accelerate a common response to Russian threats.
During a meeting in Riga, the Latvian capital, assembled leaders heard a plea from the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for more weapons.
“I ask you to increase the supply of air defence systems to our state and help speed up the relevant decisions of partners.”
“A 100% air defence shield for Ukraine will be one of the most successful steps against Russian aggression. This step is needed right now,” Zelenskyy told the leaders.
The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak supported Zelenskyy's view that rather than talk of a ceasefire Ukraine needs to push ahead with its counter-offensive.
"We must continue to focus on degrading Russia's capability to regroup and resupply, and that means going after its supply chains, and removing the international support. Particularly, I'm thinking of Iran and the weapons that it's currently providing to Russia."
The increased supply of high-tech western weapons to Ukraine has played a large part in the country's battlefield successes in recent months. But maintaining that level of support is a major challenge for the West, especially given the economic disruption the war has caused
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