G7: Zelensky in search of new diplomatic and military support

Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to plead for new diplomatic and military support for Ukraine from his allies at Sunday’s G7 summit in Japan, but also from other countries that have so far refused to condemn the Russian aggression, such as India and Brazil. Have given.

The Ukrainian head of state arrived at the G7 summit in Hiroshima on Saturday and is expected to deliver a speech on Sunday in the Japanese city, which in 1945 was subjected to the first atomic bombing in history and has since become a world symbol of peace. .

His visit to Hiroshima in person – where he was initially only to intervene by videoconferencing – put the Russian invasion of Ukraine back at the center of the G7 debate, overshadowing the summit’s other topics such as the main industrial democracies’ relations with China. Eclipsed.

Mr Zelensky has already spoken on Saturday with his European colleagues at the G7: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Council President Charles Michel.

He also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who promised him that India would do “everything possible” to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a bilateral meeting on Sunday morning.

– Lula after Modi? ,

Mr Zelensky could also meet on Sunday face-to-face with Brazil’s President Lula, who has so far been very reluctant to condemn the Russian invasion: he announced last month that the United States was “encouraging war” in Ukraine. “Should be closed.

Mr. Zelensky’s presence in Hiroshima is “very important” to “intensify” Ukraine’s ties, especially with countries in the south, Mr. Scholz speculated during a press briefing Sunday.

A large coalition of countries for peace in Ukraine will underline that the solution to this conflict cannot be linked to the “freezing” of the current situation on the ground, but that “Russia must withdraw its troops”, said the German Chancellor.

(Left to Right) US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G7 summit in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023. (Pool – Susan Walsh )

He warned, “Russia should not make it a condition that it will end up weakening support for Ukraine if it lasts long enough.”

Mr Zelensky’s arrival in Hiroshima is “a way of building peace”, Mr Macron also observed before reporters on Sunday.

It “avoids the division of the world between those who explicitly support Ukraine and those who say they support peace but without us sometimes knowing what is meant behind it”, French. the president continued.

– Meeting with Biden –

Mr Zelensky also has a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Hiroshima on Sunday afternoon.

US President Joe Biden (left) walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the G7 summit in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023 (Pool - Susan Walsh)
US President Joe Biden (left) walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the G7 summit in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023 (Pool – Susan Walsh)

Mr. Biden overcame his long-standing reluctance to say on Friday that he was prepared to allow other countries to supply Kiev with fighter jets, which Mr. Zelensky had long sought, American-built F-16. A “historic” decision, immediately congratulated the Ukrainian president.

Washington will now support a joint initiative by its allies to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. During this training period, which should take months, the West will decide the schedule for the delivery of the aircraft, their number as well as the countries providing them.

However, the White House assured that the US doctrine had “not changed”.

Even after providing military support to the fighters, “the United States does not facilitate or support attacks on Russian soil.” “Ukraine has consistently indicated that they are prepared to respect this position,” Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s national security adviser, assured on Saturday.

Following the publication of the G7’s final dialogue on Saturday, Russian head of diplomacy Sergei Lavrov accused the group’s leaders of “controlling” both Russia and China.

Beijing also expressed its “strong dissatisfaction” following press releases from the Seven (United States, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada) and the European Union, which called for a “constructive” series of criticisms. addressed to and stable” relations with Beijing.

The G7 also urged China to “press Russia to end its aggression” against Ukraine.

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