Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov met in Kyiv with a delegation of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) led by Professor of European Studies at Oxford University Timothy Garton Ash.
Oleksii Reznikov told the ECFR representatives about Ukraine’s current priority arms needs.
“The first priority is air defence systems. We need more sophisticated systems like Patriot, NASAMS, IRIS-T, SAMP-T, short-range systems. We need combat aircraft. But this is a political decision. I hope we will have the F-16, it is a realistic plan. The second priority is various types of artillery and ammunition. Weapons to counter the drones that the russians are launching en masse over Ukraine. We need cheaper solutions. We need radars, air target detection systems to effectively destroy them,” said the Minister of Defence of Ukraine.
Looking ahead to next week’s NATO summit in Vilnius, the parties discussed expectations and prospects for Ukraine.
“We have a realistic perspective and understand that we will not be granted NATO membership in time of war. But the question remains: when we win, and we will win 100%, what will be the security architecture in the world, including Europe? Ukraine is Europe’s eastern shield, while russia remains an aggressor empire dreaming of a gathering land plan. If Ukraine were to fall, the next countries would be Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And the russians would probably stop at building the Berlin Wall. According to a survey conducted by one of their think-tanks in the autumn of 2021, more than 80% of russians were convinced that the occupation of Estonia and Poland was a good idea. Yes, this is how they think. And the rebuilding of the Berlin Wall is not a metaphor, it is a real plan of russia. That is why we have to stop them together! That is why there should be a unified security architecture in Europe,” stressed Oleksii Reznikov.
He noted that Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance was in NATO’s absolute interest, as the Ukrainian Army was the only one in the world with such extensive combat experience in deterring and repelling russian troops.
“We have the right level of interoperability with NATO, the level of implemented standards, the level of joint operations. Ukrainians’ expectations of joining the Alliance are extremely high, with some 90% of citizens supporting accession, which is the first time in Ukraine’s history. That is why we expect a serious, real, pragmatic and practical signal that Ukraine will become a de jure member of NATO, just as we are already a de facto partner of the Alliance,” the Minister said.
Oleksii Reznikov thanked foreign partners who had stood by Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale war for investing in Ukraine’s future victory. He stressed that the victory for Ukraine meant the restoration of sovereign control over the entire territory within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.