(Left to Right) The leaders of the European Council, Italy, Canada, France, Japan, the US, Germany, the UK and the European Commission pose for a family photo at the G7 summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima on May 19, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with various world leaders on Saturday after arriving in Hiroshima for the G7 summit, whose leaders urged China to “press Russia to stop its aggression” against Ukraine.
Zelensky arrived in the Japanese city on an official French plane and soon after landing tweeted that peace would be “closer” after the summit, a day after opening the way for the United States to authorize the delivery of F-16 fighter jets. Afterwards. to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president, who has been trying to broaden the circle of support for his country, has met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German government chief Olaf Scholz, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – whose The country refused to condemn. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022– and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
French President Emmanuel Macron said ahead of the meeting between the two heads of state that his presence in Hiroshima could be a “game changer” for Kiev.
According to Macron, the summit of the seven most industrialized economies (the United States, Canada, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy) is a “unique opportunity” for Zelensky to talk with his allies, but it Also leaders of other invited countries, such as India or Brazil.
On his part, Modi assured that India would make “every possible effort” to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
A diplomatic source said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was also due to speak with Zelensky after accusing Western countries of “promoting war”.
Zelensky is also scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
On Friday, on his way to Japan, Ukraine’s president stopped in Saudi Arabia to seek his country’s support during an Arab League summit.
– ‘Historic’ verdict –
Washington confirmed on Friday that it would allow other countries to supply Kiev with US-made F-16 fighter jets. A “historic” decision, Zelensky observed.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan indicated that the United States would support a joint initiative by its allies to train Ukrainian pilots on these aircraft.
The United States also supports initiatives by its allies to train Ukrainian pilots. During long months of training, the Westerners would determine the delivery schedule of the planes, their quantities, and the countries to supply them.
G7 leaders also urged China, a close ally of Russia, which has never condemned the invasion, on Saturday to “press Russia to halt its aggression” against Ukraine and to “immediately, completely and unconditionally called for the withdrawal of troops”.
– Criticism from Moscow and Beijing –
He also said that there is no “legal basis” for China’s “vast maritime claims”.
But he also pointed out that he wanted a “constructive and stable relationship” with the Asian giant, underscoring the “importance of having open dialogue”.
Furthermore, he reiterated that “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait is “indispensable” for world security.
The declaration is the result of negotiations between countries such as the United States, which defends a stronger position, and other European parties that insist on avoiding any atmosphere of “confrontation”.
The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, accused the G7 leaders of wanting to “control” Russia and China at the same time, and Beijing expressed its “strong dissatisfaction” following the publication of the final statement.
The G7 countries, which seek to diversify their supply chains to be less dependent on other countries such as China, raised their voices against any attempts at “economic coercion”, pointing to Beijing.