Volodymyr Zelensky set to confront India and Brazil as leaders condemn China
HIROSHIMA – Volodymyr Zelensky is set to confront neutral countries such as India and Brazil at the G7 summit, urging them to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
The Ukrainian President landed in Japan on Saturday after addressing Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, and was met by Rishi Sunak for a one-on-one meeting.
The G7 has urged China to put pressure on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine as Western allies seek to attract more backing for the global anti-Putin front.
Shortly after his arrival in Hiroshima, Mr Zelensky met the British Prime Minister who said to him: “You made it!” The two men met earlier this week at Chequers.
Mr Sunak was the leader who originally had the idea of inviting Mr Zelensky to the G7, according to UK Government sources. He negotiated with the Japanese hosts and other members states for a month before the visit was announced.
As well as the G7 members – the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, Canada and the EU – the summit is being attended by the leaders of other countries including India, Brazil and Indonesia.
All three are large democracies which have not taken sides in the Ukraine war, aiming to keep ties with Russia while also expressing some support for Kyiv.
A No 10 spokesman said: “It is definitely an opportunity for President Zelensky to address a wide range of world leaders in one place. And also comes at a time when the western countries are aligned and we’ve just published the communique which demonstrates again that we are all of one mind.”
During the G7 summit the US administration confirmed that it would authorise European countries to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine for the first time. Deliveries are expected to start later this year, after Ukrainian pilots have undergone months of training in the UK.
The 40-page communique issued on Saturday contained the most forceful condemnation yet of China’s global conduct, including its stance on the Ukraine war.
The G7 members said: “We call on China to press Russia to stop its military aggression, and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine. We encourage China to support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on territorial integrity and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, including through its direct dialogue with Ukraine.”
They also denounced Beijing’s “economic coercion”, human rights violations and ambition to seize control of Taiwan.
The communique said: “Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China nor do we seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development… At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying. We will take steps, individually and collectively, to invest in our own economic vibrancy.”
A source close to former prime minister Liz Truss said that the pronouncement vindicated her vision of an “economic Nato” where allies agree to reinforce each others’ economic security.
On the second day of the G7 summit, Mr Sunak held a one-on-one meeting with Emmanuel Macron where the pair agreed to speed up work on reducing the number of asylum seekers who cross the English Channel in dangerous small boats.