Zelenskyy puts country’s war efforts into sharp focus at g7 in Hiroshima

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy huddled with some of his biggest backers in Hiroshima on Sunday, building momentum for his country’s war effort even as Russia claimed a symbolic victory on the battlefield.
The Ukrainian leader’s in-person appearance in his trademark olive drab during the final day of the Group of Seven summit underscored the centrality of the war for the bloc of rich democracies.
It also stole much of the limelight from other priorities, including security challenges in Asia and outreach to the developing world, that the leaders focused on at the three-day gathering.
Zelenskyy held two major rounds of meetings Sunday, one with G7 leaders and a second with them and a host of invited guests including India, South Korea and Brazil. He also held one-on-one talks with several of the leaders. US President Joe Biden announced a new military aid package worth USD 375 million for Ukraine during his meeting with Zelenskyy, saying the US would provide ammunition and armoured vehicles.
That fresh pledge came days after the U.S. agreed to allow training on American-made F-16 fighter jets, laying the groundwork for their eventual transfer to Ukraine.
“We have Ukraine’s back and we’re not going anywhere,” Biden said.
Zelenskyy thanked Biden for the support, adding that “we will never forget.”
Even before Zelenskyy landed on Saturday aboard a French plane, the G7 nations had unveiled a slew of new sanctions and other measures meant to punish Moscow over its invasion that began in February last year.
Hanging over Sunday’s talks was the claim by Russia’s Defence Ministry that forces of the Wagner private army, backed by Russian troops, had seized the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The eight-month battle for the eastern city — seen by both sides as a major symbolic prize — has been the longest and likely the bloodiest of the war. Asked if Bakhmut was still in Ukraine’s hands, Zelenskyy said he thought that Russian forces had finally taken the city in a siege that “destroyed everything.”
While Ukraine was the overwhelming focus of the summit, the leaders of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Italy, as well as the European Union, also aimed to address global worries over climate change, AI, poverty, economic instability and nuclear proliferation.Biden also aimed to reassure world leaders that the US would not default because of the debt limit standoff that has cast a large shadow over his trip.
Two US allies — South Korea and Japan — continued efforts Sunday to improve ties that have often been hurt by lingering anger over issues linked to Japan’s brutal 1910-1945 colonisation of the Korean Peninsula.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited a memorial to Korean victims, many of them slave labourers, of the August 6, 1945, atomic bombing.
Washington wants the two neighbours, both of which are liberal democracies and bulwarks of US power in the region, to stand together on issues, including rising aggression from China, North Korea and Russia.
Biden, Yoon and Kishida met briefly as a group outside the summit venue posing for photos in front of Hiroshima Bay. Biden invited the two leaders to visit Washington for a trilateral meeting and they accepted, a US official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said.
Zelenskyy also met on the sidelines of the summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their first face-to-face talks since the war, and briefed him on Ukraine’s peace plan, which calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country before any negotiations.

Latest news

Related news