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Zelensky urges allies to bring Russia to peace talks using 'all means'

By AFP - May 28,2024 - Last updated at May 28,2024

MADRID — President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to pressure Russia into peace by using "all means", during a visit to Madrid.

Zelensky spoke as Moscow said its forces have captured two villages in eastern Ukraine and after a weekend Russian strike on the north-eastern city of Kharkiv killed more than a dozen people.

"In these weeks, our soldiers are defending themselves against the Russian offensive," Zelensky said.

"We need to intensify our joint work with our partners to achieve more. Security and tangible coercion of Russia to peace by all means," he added.

Zelensky is due to visit Portugal on Tuesday, Prime Minister Luis Montenegro's office said without giving details.

Zelensky said Ukraine's allies should permit his forces to "defend ourselves", after some Western officials called for a review of restrictions on Ukraine using the weapons they supply to strike Russia.

"We need to work together and put pressure not only on Russia, but also on our partners to give us the opportunity to defend ourselves against Russia," Zelensky said.

"Even those partners who are afraid to give this or that advice should understand that air defence is defence, not attack."

The Ukrainian leader made a fresh appeal for seven more Patriot air defence systems for Ukraine, saying that, "thousands of aerial bombs are flying over people's heads".

Zelensky said Moscow was launching some 3,000 aerial bombs on Ukraine each month.

"We need at least two systems for Kharkiv alone," Zelensky said, referring to the eastern region of Ukraine where Russian forces launched a groud offensive this month.

"There are enough of these systems in the world," Zelensky said.

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