Zelensky expects ‘important decisions’ on Ukraine at the G7 summit

Via Alex Smith, BBC newsJames Landale, Diplomatic reporter, @BBCJLandale
Getty Images Ukrainian soldiers train in Chasiv Yar, eastern Donetsk region on June 11beautiful images

Ukrainian forces say they urgently need more advanced Western weapons to fight Russian invaders

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he expected “important decisions” at the G7 summit of leaders from the world’s seven richest countries that will help his country fend off Russia’s invading forces .

“A large part will be devoted to Ukraine, our defense and economic resilience,” he said in a Telegram post.

The White House said the G7 has made good progress in the US plan to use Russia’s frozen assets to mobilize $50 billion per year for Ukraine.

Mr. Zelensky, who is attending the summit in Puglia, southern Italy, is also expected to sign new security agreements with Japan and the United States.

EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (right) welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 in Puglia, southern Italy. Photo: June 13, 2024EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) was warmly welcomed by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, host of the G7 summit in Puglia

The G7 countries of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US have been important financial and military supporters of Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.

Russian assets frozen by this group along with the EU when Moscow invaded Ukraine amounted to 325 billion USD. Most assets are held in Belgium.

According to international law, countries cannot confiscate those assets from Russia and give them to Ukraine.

But the pot is generating a lot of interest — about $3 billion a year — so the idea is to use that interest creatively.

The plan is to borrow money on the international market, give about $50 billion to Ukrainians each year, and use $3 billion to pay interest on that loan each year.

But there are still many technical problems to solve.

President Biden’s security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the “big goals” of the plan have been decided and there will likely be a good outcome.

In recent weeks, Russian officials have spoken out about the idea of ​​taking profits from confiscated assets as “theft”, threatening retaliation.

PA Media G7 leaders met at a round tablePA Media

Discussions began at the G7 meeting in Puglia, southern Italy

With Mr. Biden in the midst of a tight contest and several other Western leaders lagging in the polls, there will be pressure to assist Ukraine while they still can.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is facing difficulties ahead of next month’s general election, will announce up to $309 million in support for Ukraine’s energy and humanitarian needs.

Also set to face voters is the party of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for a snap parliamentary election after a heavy loss to the far-right National Rally Party in the parliamentary election. EU Congress last weekend.

Italy’s Giorgia Meloni has boasted that her country is approaching this summit with its “strongest government”, following a strong performance in last weekend’s European elections.

The unstable political situation in many G7 countries is causing some observers to have little hope for what can be achieved.

Natalie Tocci, director of the Italian Institute of International Relations, warned that “if anything comes out of this summit, it is the fear of a disaster unfolding before our eyes”, quoting Possible new governments led by Donald Trump in the US and the far right in France are on the horizon.

In addition, on the agenda of the summit at Savelletri resort there are also the following contents:

  • War in Gaza: All previous G7 leaders supported US President Joe Biden plan to end hostilities – including an immediate ceasefire, release of hostages and increased aid
  • Move: Italy is asking other countries to contribute financially to the Mattei Plan, which aims to provide grants and loans to African countries to develop their economies. But many commentators suspect this could be a cover for Italy’s crackdown on migrants
  • Economic security: An anti-coercion treaty adopted after last year’s meeting aims to prevent countries – such as China and Russia – from using their economic power to impose their will on others. It is said that the US really wants this issue to be discussed again this time
  • AI safety: This was also raised last year, with the establishment of a process to promote “safe, secure and trustworthy AI around the world”.

Pope Francis – who will become the first pope to attend the G7 summit – will address the topic of artificial intelligence at the conference.

He has previously called for global regulation of AI, warning of its dangers to ethics and human rights.


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