European Parliament President Demands West Send Warplanes to Ukraine, Pushes for EU Membership

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European Parliament President Roberta Metsola called for EU governments to send fighter jets to Ukraine as she made a surprise visit to the country on Saturday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Adding her voice to those calling for an escalation in the war with Russia, the European Parliament’s first female president, Maltese politician Roberta Metsola, said that Ukraine should be supplied with warplanes from European Union member-states, just weeks after the first Western tanks rolled into the country.

“Member States should seriously consider sending warplanes to Ukraine,” Metsola said at a briefing in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, adding that she will continue to advocate for more military equipment to be sent to the war zone, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

The main point of her trip, however, was to advance the prospect of Ukraine joining the European Union, with Metsola saying that she hoped accession negotiations could begin as early as this year. President Zelensky, for his part, said that his government would do everything to try to meet the standards of admission into the bloc so negotiations could begin as soon as possible.

Finally, the European Parliament president’s agenda also included participating in the ‘United for Justice’ conference, which seeks to hold Russian figures to account after the war is concluded.

Speaking at the conference, Metsola said that without accountability and justice there could be no peace, and that the policy of appeasement has never worked — although the bloc does not take an especially robust stance against the likes of Turkey, which has been illegally occupying a large portion of EU member-state Cyprus for decades, and it is still an official candidate country for EU membership and has received EU funding and integration with the EU customs union, so her position is not exactly consistent.