Zelensky shores up weapons pledges as EU honours Ukraine fight

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky secured fresh promises of military aid during weekend visits to France and Germany to boost his nation's weapons stockpile ahead of a widely expected counter-offensive against Russia.

On his latest stop in a tour of European allies, Zelensky dined with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace on Sunday night and held discussions that included building up Ukraine's arsenal.

The leaders reviewed the military situation and the need for an ad hoc tribunal for prosecuting atrocities "committed in connection with Russia's war of aggression", said a joint statement issued early Monday.

Macron's office said France will supply Ukraine with armour -- without specifying the number of vehicles -- but demurred on sending much-coveted fighter jets.

"In the coming weeks, France will train and equip several battalions with tens of armored vehicles and light tanks including AMX-10RC," the joint statement said.

It also called for fresh sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

After months of stalemate, Ukraine has been preparing to retake ground captured by Russia and is shoring up military assistance to help make its troops more battle-ready.

Zelensky's arrival in Paris followed a visit to Rome on Friday, where he met with Italian leaders and Pope Francis, and a weekend stop in Germany, which announced a 2.7 billion euro ($3 billion) military aid package.

"Ties with Europe are getting stronger, and the pressure on Russia is growing," Zelensky tweeted upon arrival in France on Sunday.

"With each visit, Ukraine's defense and offensive capabilities are expanding." 

During his first trip to Germany since Russia invaded in February 2022, Zelensky was...

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