Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flew to Buenos Aires on Sunday so he can personally be on hand and applaud when Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, is sworn in.
The Ukraine leader is making the trip as part of a seemingly endless series of foreign jaunts seeking money, lethal weaponry, indirect aid, and political support for his country.
While Milei might be notionally keen to help Ukraine, the 53-year-old libertarian economist has plenty of domestic issues of his own to address including Argentina’s triple-digit inflation, four in 10 people living in poverty, and a plunging currency all hampering Latin America’s third-biggest economy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded the U.S. and EU send even more aid if the West wishes for elections to be held next year. https://t.co/MP1lX7Fg1Y
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 28, 2023
It is the Ukrainian leader’s first-ever trip to Latin America as Kyiv works to add developing nations to its backers in the 21-month-old fight against Russia’s invading forces.
AP reports Zelensky phoned Milei shortly after the Argentinian’s electoral victory, thanking him for his “clear support for Ukraine” which he described in social media posts as “well-noticed and appreciated by Ukrainians.”
In its readout of the call published shortly later, Milei’s office said he had offered to host a summit between Ukraine and Latin American states, a potential boon to Kyiv’s months long effort to strengthen its relationships with countries of the global south.
Zelensky and other senior Ukrainian officials have repeatedly framed Ukraine’s war against Russia as resistance to colonial aggression, hoping to win support from Asian, African and Latin American states.
RELATED — White House: Ukraine Aid Has Drawn down Weapons Stocks ‘Quite a Bit’
Meanwhile the Biden administration alone has directed more than $75 billion in assistance to Ukraine, which includes humanitarian, financial, and military support, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute.
In the E.U., leaders are working on a 50-billion-euro financial package for Ukraine, as well as the country’s potential accession to the bloc, with Hungary mounting the primary opposition to the latter.