Zelensky says Ukraine is not attacking Russian territory in counter-offensive

Volodymyr Zelensky pledged he had no ­intention of seizing Russian land after praising a new ­£2.4billion German promise of military aid.

Ukraine’s president arrived in Berlin to shore up support as his nation prepares a counter-offensive.

But he pledged the push would stop at the old borders.

And after holding talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday, Mr Zelensky stressed: “We are not attacking Russian ­territory. We are preparing a ­counterattack to de-occupy the illegitimately conquered territories.”

On the eve of his arrival, the German government announced a new package of military aid for Ukraine worth more than ­£2.4billion, including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition.

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In a clear symbol of support, a Luftwaffe jet flew the Ukrainian president to the German capital from Rome, where he met Pope Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni on Saturday.

Mr Zelensky said he was grateful for the “powerful package” of air defence and other military kit being supplied by Berlin.

But he used the visit to seek further arms ­deliveries to help his country fend off the Russian invasion – as well as funds to rebuild what has been destroyed by more than a year of devastating conflict.

Mr Zelensky tweeted: “Already in Berlin. Weapons. Powerful package. Air defence. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Security,” in an apparent ­reference to the key priorities of his trip.

Mr Scholz vowed to back Ukraine “for as long as it is necessary” in its fight with Moscow.

After initially hesitating to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, Germany has become one of the biggest suppliers sending Leopard 1 and 2 tanks and the sophisticated IRIS-T SLM air-defence system.

Mr Zelensky also held lengthy talks with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s head of state, who was snubbed by Kyiv last year over his previous close ties to Russia, causing a chill in relations.

Since then, both Steinmeier and Chancellor Scholz have visited Ukraine, assuring Mr Zelensky of their support against the Russians.

German defence minister Boris Pistorius said Berlin would help Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

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