President Biden and leaders from other major industrial democracies met for the 49th annual Group of 7 (G7) summit in Japan, rallying around support for Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with G7 leaders to discuss support for Ukraine amidst the country’s Russian invasion. Zelenskyy also met with leaders of non-aligned countries India and Brazil, who have yet to condemn the Russian invasion.
United States and the G7 Increase Support to Ukraine
During the summit, President Biden announced $375 million in aid to Ukraine, to be supplied in artillery, ammunition, and other arms. This comes as Biden publicly supported training Ukrainian pilots to use American F-16 fighter jets, giving other countries the go-ahead to supply Ukraine with those warplanes, which Ukraine has been hoping for since Russia first invaded last year.
“It really will help our society, our people to save houses, families,” Zelenskyy said about the F-16 jets, having also said that they are essential to improve Ukraine’s air defense abilities.
Zelenskyy promised that the jets would not be used to attack Russian territory.
“Together with the entire G7 we have Ukraine’s back and I promise we’re not going anywhere,” Biden said during the summit, reassuring support for Ukraine.
G7 Vows to Increase Pressure on Russia, China
The G7 pledged to intensify pressure on Russia and called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “a threat to the whole world in a breach of fundamental norms, rules and principles of the international community.”
The group also put pressure on China, which has a strong strategic and economic relationship with Russia, urging China to convince Russia to stop its military aggression.
“We call on China to press Russia to stop its military aggression, and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine,” said a G7 statement. “We encourage China to support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on territorial integrity and the principles and purposes of the U.N. Charter.”
Zelenskyy Disputes Russian Claims of Bakhmut Victory
During the summit, Zelenskyy gave additional details on the ongoing Russian invasion. He cast doubt on the Russian claim that they had fully captured the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, telling reporters that “Bakhmut is not occupied by the Russian Federation as of today.”
Bakhmut has been the site of an ongoing nine-month long battle, one of the longest and bloodiest of the entire war.
While Bakhmut is a relatively small city without much strategic value, control over the city remains important symbolically for both sides. However, during an interview in March Zelenskyy warned that Russian control of Bakhmut could help Russia rally international support for a deal that could require unacceptable compromises from Ukraine.
As fighting in Bakhmut and other regions continues, leadership and aid from the United States and other G7 nations has and will continue to prove crucial in Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion.