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Tags: zelenskyy | nato | address | arsenal | biden | ukraine

Zelenskyy to NATO: 'Give Us 1%' of Your Arsenal

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Japan's Parliament via video link at the House of Representatives office building on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. (Behrouz MehriPool/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 24 March 2022 11:22 AM EDT

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday asked NATO leaders for just "1%" of the alliance's combined firepower.

"You can give us 1% of all your planes — 1% of all your tanks. One percent!" Zelenskyy told NATO leaders in a closed-door video address, CNN reported.

"You have thousands of fighter jets, but we have not been given one yet … we turned [to you] for tanks so that we can unblock our cities … you have at least 20,000 tanks … but we do not have a clear answer yet."

Zelenskyy begged NATO leaders for assistance.

"We can't just buy [these items]. Such a supply depends directly on NATO's decisions, on political decisions," the president said.

Zelenskyy said NATO should come to Ukraine's defense even though his country is not a formal member of the defensive alliance set up after World War II, The New York Times reported.

"Yes, we are not in the alliance. And I do not make these claims," he said, according to a transcript released by the Ukrainian government, the Times said. "But Ukrainians never thought that the alliance and the allies were different.

"I am sure you already understand that Russia does not intend to stop in Ukraine. Does not intend and will not. It wants to go further."

Zelenskyy suggested NATO leaders and allies should admit how impressive Ukraine's armed forces have been against Russia, CNN said.

"Please, never tell us again that our army does not meet NATO standards," he said. "We have shown what standards we can reach. And we have shown how much we can give to the common security of Europe and the world."

President Joe Biden joined other NATO members for the first of three back-to-back summits to discuss Russia's unprovoked invasion of the country.

A senior Biden administration official who watched the address told the Times that Zelenskyy's remarks were "eloquent" and added that Ukraine's president did not request a no-fly zone or admission to the NATO alliance.

Zelenskyy, though, did refer to previous requests for a no-fly zone to keep Russian planes away.

"On Feb. 24, I addressed you with a perfectly clear, logical request to help close our skies," he said. "In any format. Protect our people from Russian bombs and missiles. We did not hear a clear answer.

"And you see the consequences today. How many people were killed, how many peaceful cities were destroyed?"

The senior administration official told the Times that after Zelenskyy's address the NATO members discussed the possibility of providing anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine.

"NATO has yet to show what the alliance can do to save people," Zelenskyy said, according to the transcript. "To show that this is truly the most powerful defense union in the world. And the world is waiting. And Ukraine is very much waiting. Waiting for real actions. Real security guarantees. From those whose word is trustworthy. And whose actions can keep the peace."

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday asked NATO leaders for just "1%" of the alliance's combined firepower.
zelenskyy, nato, address, arsenal, biden, ukraine
Thursday, 24 March 2022 11:22 AM
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