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Zelensky says Ukraine needs more arms to break siege of Mariupol

VALLETTA, Malta — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tells Maltese lawmakers that despite pleas, Ukraine has not received the amount of weapons it would need to unblock the siege of Mariupol and free the city.

Zelensky says defenders “still continue their resistance in the plant of Azovstal. We are using all possible diplomatic instruments to rescue them, but Russia doesn’t allow for any of the proposed options. We have asked our partners to provide weapons in order to unblock Mariupol and rescue both civilians and military personnel.”

But he says the amount of weapons needed has not been provided. Zelensky says Ukrainian cities and towns have been hit by 2,250 missiles over the 2 1/2-month invasion. “The bombardment doesn’t stop, neither during the day, nor the night,” he said.

The president also says Russia’s blockade of ports on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov means Ukraine cannot export grains and sunflower, which will provoke a crisis in the global food market.

“If we cannot export wheat, barley, sunflower, sunflower seed oil, then it means that people in North Africa and Asia will be lacking food and the prices will go up,” Zelensky says. “Later, there could be new chaos and a new migration crisis, and I think you can feel this crisis in the neighboring regions to Malta.”

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