Ukraine calls on Western leaders for more money to ‘stop Russia’

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Danish Minister of Defence Morten Bodskov and Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov in Copenhagen

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Western nations to provide more money to help Ukraine’s military keep fighting Russia.

“The sooner we stop Russia, the sooner we can feel safe,” Mr Zelensky said while addressing defence leaders at a Denmark conference aimed at strengthening financing for weapons, training and demining work in his country.

“We need armaments, munitions for our defence,” he added, speaking via a live link from Ukraine.

The conference in Copenhagen is a follow-up to an April meeting at a US air base in Germany that established the US-led Ukraine Defence Contact Group, which coordinates international military support for Ukraine.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who attended the conference in Denmark’s capital, told journalists that acquiring more fighter planes is the country’s priority right now.

“In the first stage, we need fighters. After that, de-mining,” Mr Reznikov said.

Denmark is co-hosting the daylong conference in Copenhagen with Britain and Ukraine. British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the goal of the event was securing “concrete steps”.

Before the conference started, the Danish government said it would give Ukraine an extra 820 million kroner (£92 million), which would bring Denmark’s total contribution to the war effort to more than three billion kroner (£338 million).

Part of the money would pay for 130 Danish troops to help train Ukrainian forces in Britain over the coming months.

“We will not let you down,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said as she opened the conference.

The Kyiv School of Economics released a report on Wednesday assessing the cost of war damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure at more than 110 billion dollars (£90 billion). The report said 304 bridges and more than 900 health care facilities were either destroyed or damaged.

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