President Volodymyr Zelensky is very much dependent on G7 countries to help Ukraine survive a harsh winter as the country's energy grid has been battered by Russian strikes. He said Ukraine needs about two billion-cubic metres of additional gas to make it through the winter.
Millions of Ukrainians are facing freezing temperatures without power or heating. "The terror against our power plants forced us to use more gas than expected. This is why we need additional support over this particular winter," Zelensky told the leaders of the G7 countries during a video conference on Monday.
800mn Euros and Infrastructure
The Ukrainian president requested for 800 million euros, at an international conference in Paris which was hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, to help his country survive Russia's onslaught of its civilian infrastructure.
Macron said the "Standing with the Ukrainian People" international conference was intended to help the Ukrainian people get through the brutal winter. "Very concretely, these are commitments to deliver generators, help repair infrastructure, deliver LEDs for lighting." The French president said they aim to counter Russia's attempts to sow terror in Ukraine through the cowardly bombing of Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.
"Of course it is a very high amount, but the cost is less than the cost of a potential blackout," Zelensky said. "I hope that decisions will be made accordingly." Ukraine needs transformers, equipment to repair damaged high-voltage power lines, and generators as well as gas turbines. Zelensky highlighted that Ukraine will need to use more gas this winter than expected because of the destruction of their power plants by terror attacks.
More Tanks and Missiles
Ukraine also requested for more weapons, including modern tanks, rocket artillery and more long-range missiles. But a senior US military official said Western-supplied weapons have helped turn the tide in the continuing Russia-Ukraine war. He highlighted that Russia is likely turning to older, less reliable artillery and rocket ammunition as its newer stocks run low.
However, Zelensky pointed out that Russia still has an advantage in artillery and missiles. "This is a fact. These capabilities of the occupying army are the ones to fuel the Kremlin's arrogance."
It should be noted that Russia has failed to make much of an impact on the battlefield. Moscow was forced to change its tactics in October by initiating airstrikes targeting Ukraine's energy network. Now in its ninth month of battle, Moscow has made only slight territorial gains as it continues to face fierce Ukrainian resistance.