Exclusive Western aid to Ukraine too slow, risks of US elections limited – Zelenskiy

By Mike Collett-White and Dan Peleschuk

KYIV (Reuters) – Western allies are taking too long to make decisions on military aid to Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told Reuters in an exclusive interview in Kiev on Monday.

He described the provision of military aid, especially air defenses such as the Patriot systems that Ukraine relies heavily on in its war with Russia, as “a big step forward, but two steps back.”

“Any decision that we, and later everyone together, comes to comes about a year too late,” he said, wearing his signature khaki T-shirt and pants and occasionally raising his voice.

His harsh comments come at a dangerous time for his forces, who are outnumbered and outgunned by Moscow’s military and are losing ground in the country’s northeast and east.

Clearly frustrated by what he sees as delays and reluctance among partners in the West, Zelenskiy suggested ways in which allies could help more directly, including by firing Russian missiles over Ukrainian territory under certain circumstances.

According to the 46-year-old, the situation on the battlefield in the northeast of the country is now under control after Moscow’s troops crossed the border and launched raids towards the city of Kharkov.

(Editing by Tom Balmforth)