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G7, EU vow more weapons supply to Ukraine as fighting rages

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting of G7 leaders via video link in Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec 12, 2022. (Via Reuters)

The world's largest economies have vowed to deliver more military aid to Ukraine to boost its military capabilities with a focus on air defense as fighting rages on in the country tenth months into the war.

It came after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to a meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) for modern tanks, artillery, and long-range weapons.

The organization, which includes the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, France, and Japan, pledged to "meet Ukraine's urgent requirements" after Zelensky on Monday tabled a fresh request for modern tanks, artillery, and long-range weapons to counter Russia.

In his remarks on Monday, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace expressed his readiness to supply Ukraine with longer-range missiles.

US President Joe Biden also assured Zelensky on Sunday that Washington's priority was to bolster his country's air defenses.

Ukrainian officials were quoted by Reuters on Monday as saying that Russian artillery struck nearly 20 settlements near the eastern city of Bakhmut, and there was "massive shelling" of the southern city of Kherson, which was captured by Ukrainian troops last month.

Separately, European Union countries agreed to top up a fund that has been used to pay for military support for Ukraine with another 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) after it was largely depleted.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel said more top-ups may be possible at a later stage.

"Today's decision will ensure that we have the funding to continue delivering concrete military support to our partners' armed forces," he said in Brussels.

EU foreign ministers also tried to agree on further sanctions on Russia but failed to reach an agreement, postponing the matter to December 13.

Russia launched the war on Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the 2014 Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Since the outbreak of the war, the US and its European allies have imposed unprecedented waves of economic sanctions against Moscow while supplying large consignments of heavy weaponry to Kiev.

Moscow has been critical of the weapons supplies to Kiev, warning that it will only prolong the war.

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