Zelensky named air defence systems as one of his priorities….reports Asian Lite News
As the world’s attention shifted to Israel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Brussels to ask Western countries to continue their aid to Ukraine.
“We spoke about priorities for Ukraine, for defending how to survive during this next winter,” Zelensky told reporters on Wednesday before attending a meeting with NATO defence ministers, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We need some support from the leaders. That is why I am here today,” he said, with the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Zelensky named air defence systems as one of his priorities. “It is not just basic words. We need concrete things and we need them in very concrete geographic points on our land,” he added.
The NATO-Ukraine meeting secured more support for the country to face the winter conflicts. Stoltenberg said the alliance would provide more cold weather clothing, demining capabilities, fuel, and medical equipment “to help Ukraine weather another difficult winter”.
The new pledge was made when the clashes between Israel and Hamas were drawing the world’s attention. As of Wednesday, more than 2,000 people have been killed and thousands of others injured on both sides.
On Thursday, NATO defence ministers will discuss the situation in the Middle East, with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant set to join via videoconference.
Ukraine to spend 21.6% of GDP on defence
As Russia continues its war against Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree to spend at least 21.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2024 on national defence, local media reported on Tuesday.
The presidential decree, which put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defence Council, stipulates that Ukraine’s defense spending next year will reach no less than $46 billion, rpeorts Xinhua news agency citing local media.
The document instructed the government to prioritise the financing of the defense sector in the 2024 state draft budget based on the current military-political situation.
Ukraine’s 2023 budget envisages that it will spend about $31 billion,or 18.2 per cent of the GDP on defence.