Ukraine: Borrell wants EU to supply long-range weapons, Zelensky visits Italy and Germany
EU member states must speed up arms deliveries to Ukraine, High Representative for European Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said on Saturday. Borrell also asked for ammunition for long-range artillery to be supplied, to counter the Russian shelling.
"The Ukrainians have specific needs. The Russians are bombing them from a distance, and so they should have the ability to reach the same distance, the same range," Borrell said after a conversation with Ukrainian Foreign minister Dmitro Koeleba in Stockholm.
"Dmitro Koeleba explained to us the situation on the ground. In the Bakhmut region, Ukraine needs about a thousand artillery rounds a day. That shows how intense the fighting is," Borrell said. EU member states "are providing arms and ammunition, but the pace of deliveries needs to be increased and stocks replenished".
German and Italian support
Borrell expressed satisfaction with the 2.7 billion euros of support Germany announced on Saturday. Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the country on Sunday, where he will receive the Charlemagne Prize, an annual award for an individual who is committed to European unity.
Earlier this weekend, the Ukrainian president met with Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, who has promised Ukraine support in the war against Russia "as long as necessary and beyond". Zelensky also had an audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican.
Russia, meanwhile, accused the Ukrainian army of using British long-range missiles to hit "civilian targets". London announced the delivery of the missiles on Thursday, and Moscow now claims the missiles hit "civilian targets" in the occupied Luhansk region on Friday.
The Russian defence ministry said the Ukrainian army hit a factory of packaging company Polypak and a meat processing plant of the company Milam with the missiles. Several people, including children, were reportedly injured, the Russian ministry said.
The UK is among the first to supply such weapons to Ukraine, a move seen by Russia as a "serious escalation" of the conflict. London promised on Thursday that the missiles would not be allowed to hit "civilian targets".
Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky © ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP