Ukraine seeks more war support from southeast Europe as Zelenskyy visits Saudi Arabia

FILE - A Leopard 2 tank is seen in action in Augustdorf, Germany, Feb. 1, 2023.
FILE - A Leopard 2 tank is seen in action in Augustdorf, Germany, Feb. 1, 2023. Copyright Martin Meissner/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Martin Meissner/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy pushes for more support from southeastern Europe

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On Wednesday, Ukraine's president is set to co-host a summit along with Albania's government. 

The aim is to rally additional support for Kyiv from countries in southeastern Europe, particularly as signs of war fatigue appear two years into Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Still, the specific goals of the summit remain uncertain, although its objectives are primarily centered around "peace, security, cooperation." 

No agenda has been disclosed ahead of the summit, with Albanian officials not providing further insights.

Representatives from thirteen countries are expected to attend the summit in southeastern Europe, which includes several of Ukraine's neighbours. 

Officials from the European Union and various other international institutions are also expected to participate.

As Russia ups the ante on the battlefield, Ukraine has urged Western leaders to increase the joint production of weapons and ammunition, improve Ukrainian air defenses and put new pressure on Russia via expanded sanctions.

Peace and POWs discussed in Saudi Arabia

On Tuesday, Zelenskyy touched down in Saudi Arabia and held discussions with the kingdom's influential crown prince. 

Advancing peace initiatives and securing the release of prisoners of war held by Russia was on the table. 

While maintaining close ties with Russia on energy matters, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has expressed interest in playing a mediation role in the conflict.

Ukraine continues to “rely on Saudi Arabia's ongoing active support” in pushing forward with what has been described as a “Peace Formula” to end the full-scale invasion, Ukraine's number one wrote on X. 

Zelenskyy has presented a 10-point peace formula that, among other things, seeks the expulsion of all Russian forces from Ukraine and accountability for war crimes. 

Such ideas are rejected out of hand by Moscow.

“The second topic is the return of POWs and deportees,” Zelenskyy wrote. “The kingdom’s leadership has already contributed to the release of our people. I am confident that this meeting will also yield results.” He also said economic cooperation would be discussed.

Zelenskyy's trip came as Kyiv’s forces were slowly being pushed back in eastern Ukraine. 

Russia has gained the initiative due to its big advantage in troop numbers and weapon supplies, military analysts say.

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