Ukraine’s Zelensky Makes Surprise Visit to NATO HQ in Brussels

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made a surprise visit to NATO headquarters on Wednesday, as top defense officials representing members of the military alliance gathered to consider how many more weapons — and for how much longer — the West can give Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Mr. Zelensky’s appearance at the meeting was a stark reminder of the 19-month-old conflict on NATO’s doorstep even as much of the West has turned its attention to the war between Israel and Hamas assailants in Gaza. That war broke out this past weekend and, if it drags out, threatens to divert resources from Ukraine.

But that is not expected to happen in the near future, officials and experts said, since Israel and Ukraine are using different kinds of air defenses to protect their respective territories. And two of NATO’s largest members, Britain and Germany, announced large packages of additional military assistance to Ukraine hours before the two days of meetings began on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Mr. Zelensky has spent the days since the attack on Israel imploring Western allies to continue to provide Ukraine with aid and weapons, comparing the assault by Hamas to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He also accused Russia of seeking to foment chaos and conflict in the Middle East to undermine support for Kyiv.

On Wednesday he again emphasized how valuable it was to have the support of allies.

“I remember the first days of our full-scale war — it began from terroristic attacks,” he told journalists shortly after arriving at NATO headquarters, standing next to the alliance’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg. “It was very important to not be alone.”

“So my recommendation to the leaders is to go to Israel and add their support,” Mr. Zelensky said.

He did not directly address whether the assault on Israel would divert weapons that he is demanding for Ukraine — such as air defenses, long-range missiles and artillery that he said would help his country “survive this next winter.”

The United States alone has given Ukraine billions in military aid, and Germany announced an estimated $1 billion in weapons on Tuesday night, largely in air defense systems, including Patriot missiles.

Britain also pledged about $122 million in new aid, including mine-clearing trucks that Ukraine hopes will help it push through Russian defenses on the front line. Britain also said it would send an additional $86 million in air defense systems under a contract for the MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin that was previously announced.

NATO officials will hear on Thursday from Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, in a video briefing at the close of the military alliance’s meetings this week. But Mr. Stoltenberg sought to make clear Wednesday morning that Ukraine remained foremost on NATO’s minds.

“Your fight is our fight. Your security is our security, and your values are our values,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “And we will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”