Zelensky Urges NATO Provide Unlimited Military Support Against Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked for unlimited military support from NATO, Agence France-Presse news agency reported.

Addressing NATO representatives at their summit in Brussels in a pre-recorded video address, Zelensky asked for military assistance "without restrictions" to "save people and our cities" and to match the "full arsenal" Russian forces are unleashing in Ukraine.

"I just want you to know—the alliance can still prevent deaths of Ukrainians from Russian strikes, from the Russian occupation… by providing us with all the weapons we're in need of," he said.

"You can give us one percent of all your planes. One percent of your tanks. One percent!," Zelensky pleaded.

The Ukrainian president thanked Western countries for their assistance during the war so far but added that NATO "has yet to show what the alliance can do to save people."

He also warned that Russia's intentions are to attack eastern members of NATO like the Baltic states and Poland after Ukraine.

"I am sure you understand that Russia has no intention of stopping in Ukraine," he said.

Zelensky did not ask for a no-fly zone, a demand he has repeatedly made to NATO countries since the beginning of the war. He also claimed that Russian forces are using phosphorous bombs, but didn't provide evidence or further details.

Speaking after the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden read a statement announcing that defense leaders have approved four new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in addition to four battle groups already deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

NATO has agreed to provide more military aid to Ukraine in the form of equipment and supplies, but has refused to deploy NATO troops in Ukraine, citing the likelihood of full-scale conflict with Russian troops should that occur.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's mandate was extended by a year at the summit so that he can continue leading the alliance's response to Russian military aggression.

NATO leaders have also agreed to strengthen defense on their eastern borders.

"In response to Russia's actions, we have activated NATO's defense plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force, and placed 40,000 troops on our eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct NATO command supported by Allies' national deployments," read a statement released shortly after the summit.

In a private meeting among NATO leaders, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for more lethal aid to be sent to Ukraine.

Stoltenberg added that China should use its "significant influence" on Russia to stop the war in Ukraine as soon as possible.

"We call on all states, including the People's Republic of China, to uphold the international order including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as enshrined in the UN Charter, to abstain from supporting Russia's war effort in any way, and to refrain from any action that helps Russia circumvent sanctions," the statement reads.

The U.S. Treasury has announced fresh sanctions against dozens of companies involved in producing weapons used by Moscow's troops in their attack on Ukraine, 328 members of Russia's State Duma, Sberbank and VTB Bank, Russia's two largest financial institutions.

According to the Treasury, Sberbank holds about a third of all bank assets in Russia.

Talking to reporters after the summit, Stoltenberg reiterated the risk that Russia might be preparing to use chemical weapons by creating some pretext that would accuse Ukraine of using them first.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Update 03/24/22 10.35 a.m. E.T.: This article was updated to include more information.