Zelenskyy pleads for weapons as all three Baltic presidents tell ITV News the West must stay strong

ITV News' Robert Moore has the latest from a highly-charged United Nations meeting on Wednesday

On Thursday, fresh from launching his attack on the diplomatic paralysis at the United Nations, President Zelenskyy will meet with both Joe Biden and Congressional leaders in Washington.

After the complexity of global diplomacy at the UN, Zelenskyy’s goal today is far simpler: to ensure the flow of US weapons continues, and sustains Ukraine through a second brutal winter campaign.

He will be pleading with sceptical Republicans not to turn off the taps for the funding of weapons, and urging President Biden to accelerate the delivery of long-range rockets, tanks, and air-defence systems.

'Putin wants to win this war... he can't win this war, but he will continue with his atrocities' - Estonian president Alar Karis

I have been speaking with the presidents of all three Baltic states - leaders who see themselves as on the frontline of Russian aggression - to gauge their views on a conflict that has become a savage war of attrition.

The Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian leaders urged Western governments - and voters - to show strategic patience and to stay the course, backing Ukraine to the hilt.

'The appetite of this regime is enormous,' said Lithuania president Gitanas Nausėda on the dangers of Putin

Each made a key point: that if Russia wins this war, the Kremlin’s imperial ambition will be whetted, not satiated. That other parts of the former Russian Empire’s hinterland will also then be in play; that conflict and chaos would spread out across Eastern Europe and the Caucuses.

The Latvian president, Edgars Rinkevics, put it most bluntly: That this was a “civilisational struggle” and that Moscow was behaving like Nazi Germany.

Putin would only be stopped, he argued, if Russia faced military defeat.

'The Russia leader is claiming to restore the greatness of Russia and no one knows where that greatness is going to stop... this is the clash of civilizations that we are seeing' President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, told ITV News

But the three Baltic leaders made another observation: the UN is paralysed by the Russian veto on the Security Council and that if the UN system cannot be reformed then it is destined for irrelevance.

So this war isn’t just about the territory of Ukraine. It’s also about the credibility and value of the United Nations itself.

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