In this file photo, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (left) shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right) as French President Emmanuel Macron smiles at the Mariyinsky Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 16, 2022. Zelensky has reached agreements with the leaders of Italy, Germany, France and Britain on providing fresh defense aid for Kiev, Zelensky's press service reported May 15, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
KIEV/MOSCOW – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reached agreements with the leaders of Italy, Germany, France and Britain on providing fresh defense aid for Kiev, Zelensky's press service reported Monday.
Recently, the Ukrainian leader visited the four European countries as a part of the preparations for the "active actions" of the Ukrainian army on the frontline, said a statement on the presidential website.
I am extremely pleased with our achievements and agreements… Really important, powerful defense packages.
During his visits, Zelensky met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
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"I am extremely pleased with our achievements and agreements… Really important, powerful defense packages," Zelensky said, without giving further details.
He noted that the negotiations with the leaders of the European countries also concerned the creation of a "coalition of fighter jets" for Ukraine and preparations for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit slated for July 11-12 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Zelensky visited Italy, Germany, France and Britain on May 13-15.
Russia escorts NATO planes over Baltic Sea
A Russian fighter jet was scrambled on Monday to accompany a German and a French military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russian airspace control detected two targets approaching the Russian state border over the Baltic Sea and a Su-27 fighter took off in response, the ministry said in a statement.
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This undated file photo shows a Su-27 fighter. (PHOTO / RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY)
After identifying the objects as a P-3C Orion patrol aircraft of the German Navy and an Atlantique-2 anti-submarine patrol aircraft of the French Navy, the Russian crew escorted the foreign planes until they flew away from the Russian border, the statement said.
The escort mission was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters, the statement added.