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Zelenskyy Co-Hosts War Support Summit  02/28 06:20

   

   TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- Ukraine's president co-hosted a summit with 
Albania's government on Wednesday that is meant to encourage further support 
for Kyiv by southeastern European countries, as signs of fatigue grow two years 
after Russia's full-scale invasion.

   Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived before midnight Tuesday on 
the latest stop in an international tour that saw him in Saudi Arabia earlier 
Tuesday to push for a peace plan and the return of prisoners of war from Russia.

   Zelenskyy on Wednesday called Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama "Ukraine's 
unwavering friend" in a message on X, formerly Twitter, adding the two would 
"discuss defense and political cooperation, support for the Peace Formula, and 
security agreements."

   "I will propose supporting Ukraine's efforts to achieve just and lasting 
peace, as well as organizing the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland," he said, 
referring to the summit.

   He said that all Western Balkan countries and Ukraine deserve to be members 
of the European Union and NATO.

   "The European Union and NATO have provided Europe with the longest and most 
reliable era of security and economic development, and we are all equally 
worthy of being a part of the European and Euro-Atlantic communities," he said 
in his speech at the summit.

   He said that Kyiv wanted "international law and global stability to be based 
on truly multilateral and transparent processes."

   Rama wrote on Facebook that he was proud to welcome Zelenskyy for "a 
solidarity meeting and to further the commitment of our democracies against 
Russian aggression."

   Securing further support is key to Ukraine's leader while his country faces 
battlefield challenges. Zelenskyy on Sunday announced that 31,000 Ukrainian 
soldiers have been killed in action since Russia's invasion -- the first time 
that Kyiv had confirmed the number of its losses.

   He acknowledged in Tirana that "the problems with the supply of ammunition 
... are effecting the situation on the battlefield," though added that "we 
proved that it is possible to withstand and overcome even an enemy that seemed 
to be one of the strongest in the world."

   Ukraine has urged Western leaders to increase the joint production of 
weapons and ammunition, improve Ukrainian air defenses and put new pressure on 
Russia via expanded sanctions.

   The head of NATO has said the U.S.-led military alliance has no plans to 
send troops to Ukraine, and Germany, Poland and other countries this week have 
said the same.

   Eleven countries from southeastern Europe, including some of Ukraine's 
neighbors, attended the Albania summit, three of them participating online, 
along with officials from the European Union and other international 
institutions.

   U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Albania earlier this month.

   But not all the countries are in full support for Ukraine in its war against 
Russia. Kremlin ally Serbia is the only European country that has refused to 
align with EU sanctions following Russia's invasion. It continues signing 
cooperation agreements with Moscow.

   Albania, a NATO member since 2009 and a candidate for EU membership, has 
voiced its full support for Kyiv against Russia's invasion. It has provided 
military assistance in the form of ammunition and training of Ukrainian 
military. It was among the first countries offering shelter to Ukrainian 
refugees. It has joined international sanctions against Russian officials and 
institutions.

   As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the last 
two years, Albania joined the U.S. in initiating resolutions against Russia's 
invasion.

   "The interaction between us, between neighbors, between neighboring regions, 
between all partners, has become a factor that along with the resilience of our 
people in Ukraine, does not allow Putin to prevail," said Zelenskyy.

 
 
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