A critical week of diplomacy for Ukraine ramps up on Wednesday, when President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as Ukraine redoubles its pleas for more advanced weapons.
Ukraine’s new push for arms like tanks and air defense missiles began in earnest on Tuesday, when General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held his first face-to-face meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, in Poland, nearly 11 months after the Russian invasion.
On Wednesday, NATO defense ministers began a two-day meeting in Brussels to take stock of assistance for Ukraine. On Friday, they will be joined at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany by officials from a broader group of nations that have coordinated aid to Ukraine. The U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, will lead those discussions, which will include the crucial question of whether to send Western tanks.
There is a consensus among Kyiv’s main supporters that time is running short to enable the Ukrainian military to break the deadlock with Russian forces in the east and south and drive them back. At the same time, Ukraine is facing missile attacks that have devastated much of the country’s infrastructure and an expected Russian offensive this spring.
In his nightly address on Tuesday, Mr. Zelensky said that Kyiv was “lobbying for increased global pressure” on Russia while at Davos, where world and business leaders have gathered for a week.
“The world hears Ukraine in Davos,” he said, before noting recent acts of Russian violence in Ukraine, including Saturday’s strike on an apartment building in the central city of Dnipro that killed at least 45 people far from the front lines.
“We are doing everything to ensure that this support becomes truly global and that steps to end Russian aggression and return security are taken by all influential actors in international relations,” Mr. Zelensky said.
He will be addressing the forum through video link a day after Olena Zelenska, Ukraine’s first lady, implored world leaders to use their influence to support Ukraine. She outlined a 10-point peace plan that Mr. Zelensky had announced in November and that includes the total withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.
The Dnipro attack has added urgency for some leaders. The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, told President Biden on Tuesday that the Netherlands intended to follow the lead of the United States and Germany and send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine. He said the Dnipro strike had strengthened “our resolve to stay with Ukraine.”
Katie Rogers and Steven Erlanger contributed reporting.