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Ukrainian counteroffensive is probably progressing faster than Kyiv's partners launch new sanctions packages, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sept. 8 at the 18th Yalta European Strategy meeting "The Future is Decided in Ukraine."
"When some partners say, 'So what about the counteroffensive, when will the next step be?' My answer is that today our steps are probably faster than new sanctions packages," the president said during a panel discussion.
Zelensky stressed that the sooner Ukraine receives long-range weapons, the faster the counteroffensive will be at liberating territories occupied by Russia.
He also said that while he understands the desire of the people to liberate the country as quickly as possible, the war is complex and many processes are moving slower than before.
"The war is slowing down. We recognize this fact. All processes are becoming more complicated and slower: from sanctions to the provision of weapons," he noted.
Zelensky reminded that Ukraine needs specific equipment, mainly modern fighter jets, to accelerate the military's advance.
Until recently, Western observers have criticized Ukraine's counteroffensive for its relatively slow pace and limited gains, though some admitted that it made "notable progress" in Zaporizhziha Oblast in the past few days.
In June, the Ukrainian armed forces' commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi rejected the criticism in an interview with the Washington Post, pointing out that even though NATO military doctrine relies on air superiority, Western partners expect quick results from Ukraine while being slow to deliver their jets.
According to Zelensky, Kyiv has agreed with its partners on the provision of 50-60 F-16s, but around 160 are needed to prevent Russia from dominating the air space.