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Russia's President Vladimir Putin says his country will continue its yearlong "special military operation" in Ukraine, and he accused the US-led NATO alliance of fanning the flames.

Russia-Ukraine conflict would have cost world economy $1.6 trillion in 2022, according to a study published by the German Economic Institute.

15:58 2024-05-17
Russia says it downs over 100 Ukrainian drones

MOSCOW -- The Russian military intercepted over 100 Ukrainian drones Friday overnight, said the Russian Defense Ministry in a statement.

The ministry said the air defense system and the Black Sea fleet intercepted 51 drones over Crimea, 44 over the Krasnodar Territory, six over the Belgorod Region and one over the Kursk Region during the night.

Meanwhile, Russian warplanes destroyed six drone boats in the waters of the Black Sea, it added.

21:50 2024-05-08
Ukraine extends martial law, military mobilization

KYIV -- The Ukrainian parliament on Wednesday extended the current martial law and general mobilization of troops for another 90 days, said parliamentarian Yaroslav Zheleznyak.

The bills to prolong martial law and mobilization were backed by 339 and 336 lawmakers respectively, with a required minimum of 226, Zheleznyak wrote on Telegram.

Both restrictive measures will be in place till Aug 11.

The Ukrainian parliament imposed martial law and declared military mobilization in the wake of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, and has extended the measures 11 times since then.

A new mobilization law aimed at recruiting more troops for the country's armed forces will take effect on May 18.

10:08 2024-04-09
Russia requests emergency IAEA board meeting over Zaporizhzhia attacks

VIENNA -- Russia has requested an extraordinary session of the 35-nation Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over what it claims are Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) on Sunday, a Russian envoy said on Monday.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to the international organizations in Vienna, said on social media platform X that the request has been made according to procedural rules of the IAEA board.

The ZNPP reported multiple drone attacks on Sunday. According to the IAEA, it was the first time since November 2022 that the plant was "directly targeted in military action."

The IAEA confirmed on Sunday night that the attacks caused damage to one of the ZNPP's six power units, but nuclear safety has not been compromised. However, the UN nuclear watchdog did not say who was to blame for the attacks.

Russia said Ukraine struck the ZNPP, injuring three people working at the plant.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the recent shelling on the ZNPP was "a very dangerous provocation" with negative consequences.

Ukraine has denied involvement in the drone attacks.

The ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with a total capacity of 6 gigawatts. At the end of February 2022, the facility was taken under Russian control.

21:32 2024-03-29
Ukraine reports damage to energy facilities in Russian raids
Burned cars and damaged residential buildings are seen at a site of a Russian missile and drone strike, in the city of Kamianske, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine March 29, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

KYIV -- Energy infrastructure in six Ukrainian regions suffered damage from Russian missile and drone strikes on early Friday, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

Power facilities in central Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, western Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions have been harmed, Shmyhal wrote on social media Telegram.

The raids caused power outages in several regions, Shmyhal said, without giving more details.

The Ukrainian state-run energy company Ukrenergo said earlier that thermal and hydroelectric power plants were damaged in the attack.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the Russian forces attacked 10 Ukrainian regions, injuring at least six people.

More than 150 rescue workers and 35 units of equipment have been deployed across Ukraine to eliminate the consequences of the strikes, Klymenko said.

The Russian side has yet to respond to the claim.

According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia used 39 missiles and 60 Shahed combat drones against Ukraine in the latest attack, with the Ukrainian air defense intercepting 26 missiles and 58 drones.

18:24 2024-03-29
Ukraine says Russian attack damages its power plants
A view shows residential buildings damaged during a Russian missile and drone strike in the city of Kamianske, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine March 29, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

KYIV -- Thermal and hydroelectric power plants in central and western Ukraine were damaged in a massive Russian attack on Friday, said the Ukrainian state-run energy company Ukrenergo.

The air strike caused power outages in the central Dnipropetrovsk region and the eastern Kharkiv region, Ukrenergo said in a statement.

Sergii Lysak, the Dnipropetrovsk regional governor, said on social media Telegram that 12 missiles and 12 drones were shot down over the region overnight.

The Russian side has yet to respond to the claim.

Last week, Russia carried out the biggest attack on the Ukrainian energy sector, hitting the largest hydroelectric plant, the DniproHes, and damaging power facilities across the country.

05:58 2024-03-19
Ukraine welcomes fresh military aid from EU
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a meeting with Moldova's Foreign Minister Mihai Popsoi in Kyiv, Ukraine March 13, 2024.[Photo/Agencies]

KYIV -- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the decision of the European Union (EU) to allocate an additional 5 billion euros (about $5.44 billion) for military support to Ukraine, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Speaking at the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Kuleba said that the move to unlock the aid was an important step for Ukraine.

Kuleba also thanked the Czech Republic for its initiative to purchase artillery ammunition for Ukraine and appreciated the countries that have joined the initiative.

Earlier in the day, the Council of the EU allocated 5 billion euros (about $5.44 billion) for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility (EPF). The funds are due to be used for providing Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal military equipment and training.

Between 2022 and 2024, the European Union mobilized 6.1 billion euros (about $6.64 billion) for Ukraine under the EPF.

Last month, the Czech Republic proposed to EU countries to jointly purchase 800,000 artillery shells and send them to Ukraine.

05:42 2024-03-19
EU Council approves new aid fund for Ukraine

BRUSSELS -- The Council of the European Union (EU) approved the creation of the Ukraine Assistance Fund (UAF) here on Monday and earmarked 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) for it.

The decision was reached at EU's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, where ministers discussed EU support for Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.

UAF will allow the EU to further support the evolving needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces "through the provision of both lethal and non-lethal military equipment and training," the Council said.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022, the EU has given or committed over 138 billion euros in aid to Ukraine, of which 28 billion euros was military support. (1 euro = 1.09 US dollar)

23:21 2024-03-18
Ukraine approves reform plan for getting 50-bln-euro financing from EU

KYIV -- The Ukrainian government approved the Plan for the Ukraine Facility, which was required by the European Union (EU) to allocate 50 billion euros ($ 54.5 billion) in financing for Kiev in 2024-2027, the cabinet's press service reported Monday.

"The Plan for the Ukraine Facility provides for the implementation of structural reforms in the public sector, and the implementation of many economic reforms aimed at the development of the business climate and entrepreneurship," said a statement on the government's website.

Under the plan, Ukraine is to implement more than 150 indicators in 69 reform directions by 2027, it said.

According to the statement, Kiev is counting on receiving 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) under the Ukraine Facility program this month and another 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in April.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Telegram that his country will get 16 billion euros ($17.4 billion) from the EU this year if it implements the reforms under the approved plan.

16:30 2024-03-16
Russia says three US Patriot air defense complexes destroyed

MOSCOW -- Russia has neutralized three US Patriot air defense complexes in Ukraine in the past week, local media quoted the Russian Ministry of Defense as saying on Saturday.

According to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, Ukraine's forces have sustained significant losses in equipment and personnel, said Alexey Kim, chief of staff of Russia's joint group of forces, reporting to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a meeting.

Over the last week, three American Patriot complexes, a Vampire multiple launch rocket system combat vehicle, more than 10 foreign-made artillery systems, and warehouses of fuel, lubricants and ammunition were destroyed, the ministry said in the report.

15:05 2024-03-16
China calls for peace talks over Ukraine crisis
Firefighters extinguish a fire in a building after a missile attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 7, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS -- A Chinese envoy on Friday called on the parties to the Ukraine crisis to start peace talks at an early date.

With the fighting still ongoing, the risk of spillover continues to emerge. One more day of conflict brings one more element of risk to the world. One day earlier for peace talks means one day sooner for peace. Peace is a matter of utmost urgency as well as a matter of public expectation, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

On the Ukraine issue, China has always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter be upheld, the legitimate security concerns of all countries be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to the political settlement of the crisis be supported, he told the Security Council.

"We reiterate our call on the parties to the conflict to demonstrate political will, meet each other halfway, build consensus, cease fighting, and start peace talks at an early date," said Geng. "We call on the international community to step up diplomatic efforts to create conditions for de-escalating the situation and achieving a political settlement."

China has always maintained an objective and impartial position and has participated in promoting peace talks. China supports the holding in due course of an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and one that ensures the equal participation of all parties in full discussion of all peace plans, he said.

"China is ready to provide the necessary conditions for Russia and Ukraine to engage in negotiations, and will continue to play a constructive role in promoting a political solution to the crisis," Geng said.

10:39 2024-03-15
2 killed, 19 injured after Ukrainian attack in Russia's Belgorod
This handout photograph published on the official Telegram account of Belgorod mayor Valentin Demidov, on March 13, 2024, shows damage to an apartment building following a drone attack on Belgorod. AFP PHOTO / TELEGRAM ACCOUNT @v_v_demidov

MOSCOW -- Two people were killed and another 19 injured Thursday after Ukrainian attacks on Russia's Belgorod region, according to the region's Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

Ukrainian attacks damaged a medical facility in Belgorod, as well as dozens of residences and vehicles, Gladkov said in his Telegram channel, adding that air defense system shot down 11 air targets over the day.

Ahead of Russia's presidential election scheduled between March 15 and 17, missile danger alerts have been declared repeatedly in Russia's Belgorod and Kursk regions.

Andrey Klimov, deputy chair of the federation council committee on foreign affairs, said Thursday that anti-Russian forces are using attacks on Russia to artificially increase pre-election tension.

13:34 2024-03-07
FM: China supports intl peace conference on Ukraine crisis
By Mo Jingxi

China supports holding an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine in due course, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday at a news conference during the second session of the 14th National People's Congress.

The conference should ensure the participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans, he said.

"All conflicts have to end at the negotiating table. The earlier the talks start, the sooner peace will arrive," Wang said, noting that all of China's efforts point to the goal of paving the way for ending the conflict and starting peace talks.

Wang stressed that past experience shows that a conflict, when prolonged, tends to deteriorate and escalate, even to the extent unthinkable for parties concerned.

Misperception and miscalculation will accumulate and may lead to an even bigger crisis if peace talks are absent, he said.

"Lessons in this regard should not be forgotten," Wang said.

09:29 2024-03-05
Russia summons German diplomat over leaked tape
By REN QI in Moscow
The Russian flag flies on the dome of the Kremlin Senate building behind Spasskaya Tower, in central Moscow, Russia, May 4, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador on Monday, TASS news agency reported, after Russian media published an audio recording of Berlin's potential involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

In the purported call released by Russia's RT broadcaster, German military officers were heard discussing weapons for Ukraine and a potential strike by Kyiv on a bridge in Crimea, prompting Russian officials to demand an explanation.

The Kremlin said on Monday that the content of a leaked conversation between German officials about potential strikes on Crimea proved Western countries were participating in the conflict in Ukraine.

"The recording itself suggests that the Bundeswehr is discussing substantively and specifically plans to strike Russian territory," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Peskov was speaking as the German ambassador to Russia was summoned to the foreign ministry in Moscow.

Ambassador Alexander Graf Lambsdorff left the ministry building without giving any comment, Russian news agencies reported.

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council also said on Monday that Moscow would show restraint in response to the purported intercept of the German military discussing a strike on Russia, but would not forget about it.

He made the comments at a youth forum in southern Russia, the RIA news agency reported.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius earlier responded to the leak, describing it as part of Russia's "information war" against the West, and that it was aimed to create discord within Germany.

In the 38-minute recording, German military officers also discussed how the Taurus long-range cruise missiles could be used by Ukraine. It was said the audio was leaked as a debate had been taking place in Germany over whether to supply the missiles.

Pistorius told reporters on Sunday that the Bundeswehr officers did not discuss specific plans, but talked about hypothetical options, keeping in mind that Germany should not become part of the conflict in Ukraine.

He said the timing was not a coincidence.

"It is part of an information war …There is absolutely no doubt about that," he said. "It is a hybrid attack aimed at disinformation. It is about division. It is about undermining our resolve."

He also said it does not mean it is a green light to supply the weapons to Ukraine.

On Saturday, the German Defense Ministry confirmed the call had been wiretapped. Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged a prompt investigation into the situation.

Earlier last week, Scholz said he remains reluctant to send the Taurus missiles to Ukraine, pointing to a risk of Germany becoming directly involved in the conflict. His hesitancy is a source of friction in his three-party coalition and also annoyed Germany's conservative opposition.

NATO member Turkiye hopes talks for a cease-fire in Ukraine will start soon, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Sunday after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Rail network targeted

But a truce seemed to be far away from happening as Ukraine said it blew up a railway bridge in Russia's southwestern Samara region on Monday because it was being used to transport "military cargo". It was the latest in a string of explosions targeting Russia's rail network.

Meanwhile, NATO was scheduled to kick off an exercise on Monday to defend its newly expanded Nordic territory, with more than 20,000 soldiers from 13 nations expected to take part in drills lasting nearly two weeks in the northern regions of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

With over 4,000 Finnish soldiers taking part, the Norway-led Nordic Response 2024 represents the NATO newcomer's largest-ever participation in a foreign exercise, Finland's military said.

Finland, which shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russia, joined NATO in April in a historic move following decades of military nonalignment. With its bid now ratified by all NATO members, neighboring Sweden is currently finalizing formalities to enter the military alliance as its 32nd member — most likely in March.

Agencies contributed to this story.

06:35 2024-03-05
Ukraine says ready to extend gas transit from Russia at EU request

KIEV -- Ukraine stands ready to extend gas transit from Russia if there is a request from the European Union (EU) countries, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Monday, citing Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

"If the European countries act as a consortium or one of the European partners will act as a transit country for their gas -- we are ready to provide such a service," Shmyhal told a press conference.

Ukraine can seal a deal on gas transit with the European Commission or a group of European countries that are interested in maintaining the transit, Shmyhal said.

He stressed that Ukraine will not extend the existing gas transit contract or sign a new contract with Russia.

Ukraine's state-run energy company Naftogaz and Russia's gas giant Gazprom signed a gas transportation agreement in December 2019. The contract envisages that Ukraine would transit 40 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year during the 2021-2024 period.

Last year, Russia's gas transit via Ukraine was down by 28.4 percent to 14.6 million cubic meters.

09:36 2024-03-04
Europe support for Ukraine comes at a cost
Farmers block roads around the Arc de Triomphe, including the entry to Champs-Elysees, with tractors on Friday. REMON HAAZEN/GETTY IMAGES

European Union countries are continuing to show resolute support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, but protests by farmers across the continent have shown that more people are reluctant to continue sacrificing their own interests for the cause, analysts say.

Farmers across Europe have staged protests over the past few weeks against the EU's agricultural policies and food imports from Ukraine.

On Friday, French agricultural workers encircled the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with their tractors, staging a demonstration aimed at "saving French agriculture".

Also last week thousands of farmers took to the streets in the Polish capital, Warsaw, and agricultural protesters disrupted traffic on roads in Spain close to the French border on Tuesday.

The protesters called for a retraction of the EU's Green Deal, an initiative designed to combat climate change that they argue imposes excessive costs on them.

The demonstrators also demanded that imports of Ukrainian grains and other agricultural products be stopped, saying that their substandard quality is detrimental to the food supply and poses a risk to agriculture.

In May 2022 the EU established the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes to address the issue of agricultural exports. However, for logistical and other reasons most of the Ukrainian agricultural products transiting through ended up stranded in EU countries, to the cost of local farmers.

Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said that as the Russia-Ukraine conflict goes into its third year, whether to continue supporting it will become an increasing preoccupation for many.

The EU perceives Russia as a threat to Europe, and countries across the continent appear united in supporting Ukraine. Although within member countries people were once at loggerheads on matters such as aid to Ukraine and Sweden joining NATO, these differences have ultimately been resolved, Zhao said, adding, "However, ordinary people see things quite differently."

The EU has imposed sanctions on Russia over the past two years that have had a significant impact on its economy, leading to rising energy prices and high inflation, which has fed into higher living costs for ordinary people, he said.

The European Commission recently cut its forecast for EU economic growth this year from 1.3 percent to 0.9 percent.

The EU has used a lot of funds that could have been used to support economic recovery, and focus on the interests of the public, Zhao said.

For example, the EU Council recently approved 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in aid for Ukraine, and some member countries have cut subsidies for agricultural products, much to the ire of many farmers.

Moreover, the EU's transformation toward green agriculture has led to restrictions on the production of local agricultural products, and special policies have allowed an influx of cheap Ukrainian agricultural products into the broader European market.

Fatigue seen

He Yun, an associate professor at the School of Public Administration, Hunan University, said that as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues, fatigue has set in in the West on supporting Ukraine, and the conflict is likely to further divide the European society.

Angry farmers have already become a problem for the EU and many of its member countries. In European Parliament elections set for June, far-right political parties are likely to capitalize on farmers' discontent to gain an advantage, He said.

A poll published in Europe by the European Council on Foreign Relations recently found that only 10 percent of respondents said they thought Ukraine could defeat Russia on the battlefield. At the same time, 41 percent said peace talks should be pushed forward.

14:57 2024-03-01
Russia ready to return crash victims' bodies to Ukraine

MOSCOW -- Russia has expressed its readiness to transfer the bodies of those who perished in the crash of a military Il-76 aircraft in the Belgorod region to Ukraine, local media reported on Friday.

"Yes, we are prepared. Everything necessary from a procedural standpoint is in place," Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova was quoted by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

She added that the bodies can be handed over following existing procedures.

On Jan. 24, the Ukrainian armed forces shot down a Russian military transport aircraft, the Il-76, over the Belgorod region. The aircraft was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners for exchange. All the prisoners, along with three accompanying Russian officers and six crew members, lost their lives.

05:31 2024-02-28
Zelensky, Saudi crown prince discuss Russia-Ukraine crisis
This handout photograph taken and released by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service on Feb 27 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) speaking with Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (R) during a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [AFP PHOTO / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service]

RIYADH -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday discussed the Russia-Ukraine crisis with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Saudi crown prince reaffirmed his country's support for all international endeavors aimed at resolving the crisis and achieving peace, and its continued contribution to alleviating the situation through humanitarian assistance, the SPA said.

Zelensky "expressed appreciation and thanks for the efforts exerted by the Kingdom in this regard," according to the report.

The visit aimed to discuss peace prospects, the exchange of prisoners of war, and the areas of economic cooperation and potential involvement of Saudi Arabia in Ukraine's post-war reconstruction efforts, Zelensky said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

"We discussed the Peace Formula's points and the progress that can be made in implementing them. Saudi Arabia's leadership can assist in finding equitable solutions," Zelensky said. Ukraine's Peace Formula calls for the full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

In another post on X, the Ukrainian president noted that Saudi Arabia "has already contributed to the release of our people. I am confident this meeting will also yield results."

Saudi Arabia, which maintains ties with both Moscow and Kiev, had mediated between the two sides before, helping reach a deal in September 2022 that freed over 200 captive Ukrainians.

03:37 2024-02-28
Visegrad Group not to send troops to Ukraine: PMs
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Czech Republic's Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for a group photo during the summit of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries in Prague, Czech Republic on Feb 27. [Photo/Agencies]

PRAGUE -- The Visegrad Group (V4) countries are not planning to send troops to Ukraine, their prime ministers (PMs) said here on Tuesday.

Czech PM Petr Fiala, Poland's Donald Tusk, Slovakia's Robert Fico and Hungary's Viktor Orban made the statement after a V4 leaders meeting.

Despite their agreement on Ukraine's need for help, they are willing to offer assistance in different forms, Fiala said.

According to Fiala, the Czech Republic and Poland are providing military aid to Ukraine, while Hungary and Slovakia are willing to offer humanitarian and financial aid.

Fico called for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks to solve the Ukraine crisis. Orban also called for peace talks as soon as possible.

Moreover, while the V4 members agreed not to change EU founding treaties, they reached a consensus to adjust common agricultural policy to reduce bureaucracy and regulation, Fiala told reporters.

01:52 2024-02-28
German defense minister rules out sending troops to Ukraine
Tanks are parked, on the day German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and German President Frank Walter Steinmeier visit a training site, where Ukrainian soldiers undergo maintenance training on Leopard 1 A5 tanks, at the German army Bundeswehr base in Klietz, Germany on Feb 23. [Photo/Agencies]

VIENNA -- German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Tuesday ruled out sending German ground troops to Ukraine after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested on Monday that European nations might do so.

"Boots on the ground is not an option for the Federal Republic of Germany," Pistorius told a press conference after meeting with Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner in Vienna on Tuesday.

Tanner also called Macron's remarks "a worrying signal."

Macron said at a gathering of European leaders on Monday that while there was no official consensus among European leaders, the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine "should not be ruled out," adding that the West will do everything to ensure Russia does not win the ongoing conflict.

09:33 2024-02-17
France, Ukraine sign 10-year security pact
French President Emmanuel Macron and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy shake hands after a press conference, Feb 16, 2024 at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS -- French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a 10-year security pact in Paris on Friday.

Under the pact, France will offer "up to 3 billion euros" ($3.23 billion) in aid to Kiev in 2024 after having provided support worth 1.7 billion euros in 2022 and 2.1 billion euros in 2023, Macron told a press conference alongside Zelensky.

The French president also said he would visit Ukraine by mid-March.

The pact with France was "ambitious and concrete", said Zelensky.

Earlier in the day, Zelensky and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed a long-term security agreement in Berlin. Ukraine had already signed such a security agreement with the United Kingdom in January. (1 euro = 1.08 US dollar)

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