On Surprise German Visit, Zelensky Urges 'Vital Support'

Photo by Javad Parsa / NTB / AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise trip to Germany on Thursday, December 14, seeking ongoing support for Ukraine from the West.

During his visit, Zelensky expressed appreciation for the quality of US military aid at the Wiesbaden military base, emphasizing its crucial role in Ukraine's quest for victory. He took to social media, stating, "We critically need it for the victory! We expect that the US Congress will soon adopt the crucial decision to continue such vital support for Ukraine."

Andriy Yermak, Ukraine's presidential chief of staff, posted a simple message on social media, featuring the German flag and a flexed bicep.

In related developments, German defense firms were reportedly given a 24-hour deadline to provide a list of armaments that could be sent to Ukraine next year. This request was made by senior government officials, as reported by Politico on Wednesday.

The visit coincided with Ukraine announcing the delivery of a Patriot air defense system from Germany, a response to the escalating aerial attacks by Moscow. The Ukrainian defense ministry shared the news on social media, listing additional military aid, including mine clearing systems.

Zelensky's activities in Germany were confirmed by a police spokesman in Frankfurt, who mentioned his appointments in the Rhine-Main area. Police officers accompanied Zelensky from Frankfurt airport to Wiesbaden, temporarily blocking traffic for security reasons.

"The Ukrainian president's stop at the Clay Barracks in Wiesbaden will conclude shortly," announced Frankfurt police on X. They added, "New temporary blockades will be in place for his departure from Germany."

Notably, the US Department of Defense set up a new organization in Wiesbaden last year, tasked with coordinating long-term security force assistance.

In a bid to secure continued support for Kyiv, Zelensky made an unexpected visit to Oslo on Wednesday, engaging in talks with the leaders of the five Nordic countries. This occurred on the eve of a crucial EU summit in Brussels, where he urged allies in Europe and the US to stand firm in supporting Ukraine.

Earlier on Thursday, Zelensky participated in a virtual meeting with the leaders of the 27 EU member states, emphasizing the importance of not handing Russia a political victory by withholding essential support.

The focus of the EU leaders was on approving a substantial four-year funding package of 50 billion euros ($55 billion) for Kyiv. Additionally, discussions centered around initiating formal EU talks regarding Ukraine's potential accession to the bloc.

However, both in the US and the EU, internal disagreements are causing delays in aid packages for Ukraine, valued at billions of dollars.

Despite Ukraine's counter-offensive launched in July not yielding the expected results, Zelensky is actively working to strengthen international support for his country.