(Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday it was “obvious” Ukraine would not be the last stop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, and that it was vital the West does not delay deliveries of weapons to help repel Russian forces.
The Ukrainian leader told the Munich Security Conference by video link that while the West was negotiating supplies of tanks to Kyiv, the Kremlin was thinking of ways to “strangle” the former Soviet republic of Moldova which lies west of Ukraine.
“It’s obvious that Ukraine is not going to be his last stop. He’s going to continue his movement all the way…including all the other states that at some point in time were part of the Soviet bloc,” Zelenskiy said.
He urged the West to maintain speedy weapons deliveries.
“Delay has always been and still is a mistake,” Zelenskiy said.
He made his opening remarks in English as he addressed the security conference, an annual gathering of leading politicians, military officers and diplomats, days before Ukraine marks the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.
Despite his warnings, Zelenskiy said he did not think Russia could win.
He likened Ukraine to David and Russia to Goliath in the Biblical tale in which the underdog David wins, armed with a sling. He said David had defeated Goliath by action rather than conversation and that Goliath “has no chances”.
“We need the speed, speed of our agreements, speed of our delivery, to strengthen our sling – speed of decisions to limit Russian potential,” he said.
(Reporting by Max Hunder; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage)
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