Zelenskiy Meets World Leaders at G7 Summit in Japan Amid Ukraine War Talks.

On the final day of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attempted to win support from the wider international community. He met with Joe Biden for a bilateral meeting amid speculation that Washington could announce a new weapons package for Ukraine. The G7 reiterated its unswerving backing for Kyiv in its final communique, but Zelenskiy has his work cut out to persuade the leaders of key non-aligned countries, including India and Brazil, to follow suit.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has accused the West of “encouraging the war” and has not confirmed that he will meet the Ukrainian leader in Hiroshima. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine but not condemned the Kremlin, was more forthcoming after meeting Zelenskiy on Saturday. Modi told Zelenskiy: “I understand your pain and the pain of Ukrainian citizens very well. I can assure you that to resolve this India and, me personally, will do whatever we can do.”

Zelensky appeared to have been encouraged by the talks, saying he believed India “will participate in the restoration of the rules-based international order that all free nations clearly need”. The French President Emmanuel Macron described the summit as an opportunity to convince emerging powers India and Brazil to back Ukraine, describing Zelenskiy’s surprise visit to Hiroshima as a “gamechanger”.

The G7 on Saturday vowed to intensify the pressure on Russia in its final communique, released a day early by the summit’s hosts, apparently anticipating that Sunday would be dominated by Ukraine. “Russia’s brutal war of aggression represents a threat to the whole world in breach of fundamental norms, rules and principles of the international community,” the communique said. “We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused the G7 of trying to isolate Russia and China. “The task has been set loudly and openly: to defeat Russia on the battlefield, but not to stop there, but to eliminate it as a geopolitical competitor,” he said. “As a matter of fact, any other country that claims some kind of independent place in the world alignment will also be to suppress a competitor. Look at the decisions that are now being discussed and adopted in Hiroshima, at the G7 summit, and which are aimed at the double containment of Russia and China.”

Zelenskiy, who arrived in Hiroshima on Saturday amid heavy security, is seeking wider support for a 10-point peace plan that demands that Russian forces retreat from Ukraine before any negotiations can begin. The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said the message from Ukraine and its G7 allies was clear: “Russia must withdraw troops.” Any peace plan, he said, “can’t simply be linked to a freeze of the conflict. Russia should not bet that if it holds out long enough, it will end up weakening support for Ukraine”.

Zelenskiy’s attendance at the G7 came a day after the White House dropped its opposition to allies supplying Kyiv with US-built F-16 fighter jets. While it will take time to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the sophisticated aircraft, Zelenskiy said the lifting of the ban was a “great result”. “It really will help our society, our people to save houses, families,” he said.

Writing on his official Telegram channel after meeting the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, he said the jets were essential to improve Ukraine’s air defence capabilities.