Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged South Korean lawmakers in a video address on Monday to provide his country with arms to help it fight the Russian military.
Zelenskyy’s request came hours after Seoul’s Defense Ministry confirmed it had rejected a Ukrainian request for anti-aircraft weapons during a call between the countries’ defense ministers last week, citing the South Korean government’s principle of limiting its military help to Ukraine to non-lethal supplies.
South Korea has joined international sanctions against Moscow, banning the export of strategic materials to Russia and ending transactions with key Russian banks and sovereign wealth funds.
However, Zelensky said sanctions alone have proven inadequate in meaningfully stopping Russian aggression.
“The Republic of Korea has tanks, ships, and various equipment that can block Russian missiles and we would be grateful if the Republic of Korea could help us fight back against Russia,” Zelenskyy also said.
Zelensky highlighted Russia’s takeover of Mariupol, where at least tens of thousands of citizens were likely killed.
“Russia doesn’t care how many people die,” Zelenskyy said.
“This war is far from over. Russia is aiming to end Ukraine’s independence and separate the country. It is trying to eliminate the culture and language of the Ukrainian nation,” Zelensky added.
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