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Ukraine says West dragging its feet on supplying rocket launchers

Ukraine’s foreign minister says the urgency of his country’s weapons needs can be summed up in two abbreviations: MLRS — multiple launch rocket systems, and ASAP — as soon as possible.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says the situation in the eastern Donbas region “is extremely bad.” The rocket systems could help Ukrainian forces try to recapture places such as the southern city of Kherson from Russian occupiers who invaded Ukraine on February 24.

A Ukrainian multiple rocket launcher BM-21 ‘Grad’ shells Russian troops’ position, near Lugansk, in the Donbas region, on April 10, 2022. (Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP)

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Kuleba says he had about 10 bilateral meetings with other leaders whose countries possess such systems.

“The response I get is, ‘Have the Americans given it to you already?’” he says, alluding to US leadership. “So this is the burden of being a leader. Everyone is looking at you. So Washington has to keep the promise and provide us with multiple launch rocket systems as soon as possible. Others will follow.”

“If we do not get an MLRS ASAP, the situation in Donbas will get even worse than it is now,” he added. “Every day of someone sitting in Washington, Berlin, Paris and other capitals, and considering whether they should or should not do something, costs us lives and territories.”

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