On at least one critical level, today’s summit failed.
Throughout the day in Brussels, world leaders spoke of their commitment to Ukraineproudly boasting of unity in public.
But in truth, President Zelenskythe man that this summit was to support, will be disappointed.
Ukrainian president drops request for no-fly zone
This became evident in Boris Johnsonat the press conference, where some of the divisions and issues became quite glaring.
President Zelenskyy did something important today. He dropped his request for a no-fly zone. Instead, he asked for something very, very specific: more jets and more tanks.
During the press conference, it became clear that NATO had not agreed.
When I asked if Ukraine would get the tanks and jets, Mr Johnson replied: “He did ask for tanks and jets. There’s a particular reason for that.
“President Zelenskyy wants to relieve Mariupol to help the thousands of Ukrainian fighters in the city. To that end, he needs armor and we are looking at what we can do to help.”
However, he concluded: “Logistically at the moment it looks very difficult both with armor and with jets. We are very aware of what he is asking for.”
Prime Minister “deflated” at the end of the summit
You could see how conflicted Mr Johnson was about this.
He appeared deflated at the end of the press conference, having been President Zelenskyy’s champion, then hitting a line that not everyone could cross, fearing it would drag the West into a much bigger conflict.
Instead, Mr Johnson told the room that there are other types of missiles, again defensive missiles, which could be “more immediately useful” to President Zelenskyy.
A few hours earlier, the Ukrainian president had given his answer to NATO leaders.
Success is not like telling President Zelenskyy that he asked for the wrong thing.
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