UPDATE - Ukrainian president discusses security guarantees, military aid with NATO leaders

UPDATE - Ukrainian president discusses security guarantees, military aid with NATO leaders

Zelenskyy holds separate one-on-one talks on sidelines of NATO summit in Lithuanian capital

CHANGES HEADLINE, SPOT AND LEDE, UPDATES WITH STATEMENTS ON MEETINGS WITH DUTCH PREMIER AND FRENCH PRESIDENT, EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday discussed security issues and military aid to Kyiv during meetings with NATO leaders.

“We are discussing security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to NATO – we have an understanding with Canada, there will be an understanding of the world, we are preparing an important security victory for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram following a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the sidelines of the ongoing NATO summit in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius.

He thanked Canada for strengthening the Ukrainian Armed Forces with its transfer of armored vehicles, further saying there are “powerful agreements.”

Zelenskyy later said on Telegram that he held talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during which they discussed security guarantees for Ukraine in the wake of Kyiv’s membership process to NATO.

“There is an agreement on additional Patriot launchers and missiles for them from Germany. This is very important for protecting life in Ukraine from Russian terror!” Zelenskyy said, adding that he is grateful to Germany for its readiness to provide long-term support for Ukraine.

“Long-term support programs are the best signal to everyone in the world that our Europe will remain a space of security and peace,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy also held a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, during which he said they discussed defense, politics, and common security.

“I thanked for the weapons, in particular long-range weapons. Strong support for Ukraine on the way to NATO. And we are preparing security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to NATO. A very good meeting!” he said.

Zelenskyy later met with Mark Rutte, the caretaker Dutch prime minister, on the training of Ukrainian pilots, saying that they are approaching a decision on the provision of "modern aviation" for Ukraine.

"We agreed on the specific contribution of the Netherlands to the strengthening of our air defense and artillery. Thank you for your support on the way to NATO - both in terms of the invitation and security guarantees on the way, in particular on a bilateral basis," Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy also discussed issues related to defense and further defense support with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in another meeting.

"Briefed (Macron) on the situation on the battlefield now. Further defense support was discussed. Thanks again for every single weapon, especially the ranged weapon. There will also be additional engineering equipment for demining," he said.

Zelenskyy arrived in Vilnius on Tuesday to take part in the NATO summit, amid Kyiv’s push to be swiftly allowed into the Western military alliance. However, leaders are said to be reluctant to its immediate entry during its war with Russia.

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