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Zelenskiy Plans Western European Tour to Lobby for Ukraine Aid

(Bloomberg) -- Volodymyr Zelenskiy is planning a tour of Western European capitals around this week’s Munich Security Conference, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the Ukrainian president seeks military support amid the funding fight in Washington.

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Zelenskiy will probably visit Paris and Berlin as part of the trip, the people said, emphasizing that the plans still aren’t confirmed. The Ukrainian leader is expected to attend the annual conference in Munich, which runs Thursday to Sunday, according to the people.

Representatives of the French and German governments declined to comment. Zelenskiy’s office doesn’t comment on his travel schedule out of safety concerns.

As supplies of ammunition dwindle, Zelenskiy needs to make the case for faster military aid to push back against Russia’s invasion, one of the people said. He’s likely to push for talks on security guarantees, the person said.

Zelenskiy and his military leadership have blamed the failure of last year’s counteroffensive to break through Russia’s strong defense lines on delays in the delivery of Western military equipment. More than $60 billion of US support remains stalled amid objections by some Republicans in the run-up to the presidential election.

A pause in the fighting would give Russia the opportunity to again replenish troops and military stockpiles, enabling it to strike with greater force, Zelenskiy has said. He is seeking security guarantees with Group of Seven countries in case the current war ends and Russia attacks again. Ukraine signed its first such pact with the UK last month.

Meetings in London are also being discussed, although Zelenskiy’s team is focusing on countries that haven’t yet signed security guarantees, one of the people said.

In his daily address, Zelenskiy said he was preparing to share Ukraine’s vision in Munich for what he described as a “decisive year.”

“Cooperation matters,” the Ukrainian president said. “And I am grateful to everyone in the world who realizes this, to everyone who helps, to every leader, every state that seeks a fair peace as much as Ukrainians do.”

--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska and Michael Nienaber.

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