Sat. May 25th, 2024

Zelensky says Russia using phosphorus bombs, its neighbours ‘in danger’

Agencies and A News WORLD

Russia will “destroy freedom” in Europe and pursue its neighbours, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Swedish lawmakers in his address on Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of danger of Russian neighbors as he marked one month of the Russian invasion during an address to the Swedish parliament.

“This is a month now,” Zelenskyy said during a speech by video link Thursday. “We have not seen a destruction of this scale since World War II.”

“Just look at what the Russian army has done to our country … A month of bombings similar to what we have seen in Syria,” Zelenskyy said, adding 10 million people have been displaced.

He called on “Swedish companies and state to come rebuild” the country.

Zelenskyy, speaking through an interpreter, also raised an alarm about the possibility of Russia using nuclear and chemical weapons.

His speech was broadcast live before members of the 349-seat Riksdagen which gave him a standing ovation.

Russia will “destroy freedom” in Europe and pursue its neighbours, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Swedish lawmakers in his address.

“If Ukraine wouldn’t endure and protect ourselves, it would mean that … all neighbours of Russia are in danger from now on,” he said in a video link speech that got a standing ovation.

“Russia went to war against Ukraine because they want to advance further in Europe, they want to destroy freedom in Europe.”

“This is a fundamental challenge for the European security and defence system”, he said, calling for Europe to issue hard-hitting weekly sanctions packages against Russia.

He warned Sweden that Moscow had its Baltic Sea island of Gotland in its sights.

Sweden reopened its garrison on Gotland in 2018, in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, after shutting it down in 2004.

“It would mean that you are in danger, because it is only the sea that divides you and this aggressive policy”, he said.

“Russian propagandists already discuss on air, on TV broadcasts, how Russia will occupy Gotland and how they will control it for decades”, he added.

“They think it would be comfortable to put anti-defence systems and bases there to cover the advance on the Baltic states.”

Zelensky thanked Sweden for its support, after it agreed to ship weapons to a country at war for the first time since 1939.

Not a member of NATO and officially militarily non-aligned, Stockholm on Thursday announced a second delivery of 5,000 anti-tank launchers.

Support for NATO membership has soared in Sweden since Russia’s invasion, but Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has so far ruled out the idea.

Joining the alliance risks “destabilising” northern Europe, she said.

Zelensky also accused Russia of deploying phosphorus weapons in his country and urged NATO to provide military support.

“This morning, by the way, phosphorus bombs were used. Russian phosphorus bombs. Adults were killed again and children were killed again,” Zelensky said during a video address to the US-led military alliance.

Zelensky, who has made multiple appearances by video link before parliaments in other countries in recent weeks, was due to address an extraordinary NATO summit later Thursday.

By Chala Dandessa

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