VILNIUS — In a recent development, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has advised Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to display a greater sense of “gratitude” towards western nations if he wishes to maintain their military support. “People want to see a bit of gratitude,” he suggested.

Wallace underscored the significance of acknowledging the assistance provided by western countries, recounting an episode from last summer when he traveled for 11 hours to attend a meeting in Ukraine, only to be presented with an extensive wishlist of weaponry. Expressing his frustration, he conveyed to the Ukrainian attendees, “I’m not Amazon.”

Wallace said that Ukraine consistently ask for more support even after receiving the most recent shipment of weapons.

12/07/2023. Vilnius, Lithuania. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak alongside President of United States Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine attend a NATO Ukraine Council on day two of the NATO Summit in Lithuania. [Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street]

While emphasizing that the United Kingdom’s patience regarding Ukraine’s requests for weapons remained steadfast, Wallace emphasized the need to persuade US lawmakers to send military assistance.

Wallace acknowledged the complexity of the situation, stating, “Whether we like it or not, people want to see gratitude. You know, my advice to the Ukrainians is sometimes: look, you are persuading countries to give up their own stocks.”

This statement followed Zelenskyy’s recent criticism of NATO’s decision not to provide a timeline for Ukraine’s membership.

Additionally, Wallace mentioned that there are occasional “grumbles” from American lawmakers – not the administration – regarding the support extended to Ukraine. “Whether you like it or not, that’s just the reality of it,” said Wallace.

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