Zelensky wants NATO-Ukraine Council to meet on air defence needs

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in Kiev on Tuesday that he would seek to convene a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council to call for improved protection of his country’s airspace.

Comparing Ukraine’s position with that of Israel, after a mass attack by Iranian missiles and drones was warded off over the weekend, Zelensky said Ukraine would ask to be supplied with air defence and missiles.

Ukrainians had a right to be protected from terrorism, Zelensky said, adding that Kiev was struggling to secure genuine assistance from its allies.

Zelensky paid tribute to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for seeking a solution to the conflict. Speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday, Scholz stressed China’s significance on the world stage. As a key ally of Russia, Xi is seen as having influence on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“China can really help us restore the just peace for Ukraine and the stability in international relations,” Zelensky said. Switzerland is to host a peace summit in mid-June, to which China, but not Russia has been invited.

China has launched its own initiative, which has been greeted with scepticism by Ukraine. It is not yet clear whether Beijing, which is pressing for Moscow to attend the Swiss conference, will attend.

“The summit in Switzerland will give us all a genuine chance to truly implement the UN Charter, its aims and principles,” Zelensky said.

Ukraine is insisting that all Russian forces must withdraw from its territory, but Russia has termed this “unrealistic.”

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