Zelenskiy in Japan as G7 takes aim at Russia, China


Hiroshima (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy brought his call for support against Russia’s invasion to a Group of Seven (G7) summit on Saturday on Japan, where leaders agreed to tighten sanctions against Moscow and pare back exposure to China.


* G7 leaders outlined a shared approach towards China, looking to “de-risk, not decouple” economic engagement with a country regarded as the factory of the world.

The G7 is looking to bridge a vast gap with emerging economies in the “Global South” by focussing on infrastructure and debt relief, officials say, part of a strategy to blunt China’s influence in lower-income countries.

* U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have discussed ways to strengthen defence cooperation and counter coercive behaviour by China, the White House said.

* China is gravely concerned about recent signs of “negative” China-related moves at the G7 summit and urges Japan not to turn it into a “political show” against or to curb China, the country’s embassy in Japan said. Its embassy in London warned that any words or deeds harming China’s interests would be met with “firm and resolute countermeasures”.


* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said decisions taken by the G7 countries at their summit in Japan were aimed at the “double containment” of Russia and China.

* G7 leaders said they had ensured that Ukraine had the budget support it needs for this year and early 2024. “Today we are taking new steps to ensure that Russia’s illegal aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine fails and to support the Ukrainian people in their quest for a just peace rooted in respect for international law,” they said in a statement.

* Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy received a warm welcome in Japan after arriving to attend the G7 summit for back-to-back bilateral meetings with world leaders.

* The United States announced sanctions on more than 300 targets, aiming to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and intensifying one of the harshest sanctions efforts ever implemented.

* During the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden will announce a $375 million military aid package for Ukraine that includes artillery, ammunition and HIMARS rocket launchers, a U.S. official said.

* Biden informed G7 leaders that Washington will support a joint effort with allies to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, CNN reported, citing a senior U.S. administration official.

* German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his government wanted pragmatic measures to prevent the circumvention of sanctions imposed on Russia.

* Britain published plans to ban imports of Russian diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel and announced a new wave of sanctions against Russia, targeting companies connected to the alleged theft of Ukrainian grain.

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he invited India to join Ukraine’s peace formula during talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit, their first meeting since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

* G7 leaders called on all participants of the Black Sea grain deal “to continue and fully implement its smooth operation at its maximum potential and for as long as necessary,” it said in a statement.

Economy, Climate, Nuclear Proliferation

* Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to leave the G7 summit in Hiroshima a day earlier than scheduled to lead the response to flooding which hit the north of her country this week, two sources said.

* G7 leaders agreed on an initiative to counter “economic coercion,” pledging action to ensure that any actors attempting to weaponise economic dependence would fail and face consequences.

* The G7 called for the development and adoption of international technical standards for “trustworthy” artificial intelligence (AI) as lawmakers of the rich countries focus on the new technology.

* G7 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a highly decarbonised road sector by 2030 and committed to the goal of achieving net-zero emissions on roads by 2050.

* The G7 must take the lead in phasing out fossil fuels, the leaders of seven countries including the Netherlands and Chile said, attempting to build momentum for a global deal this year to gradually quit oil, coal and gas.

* The G7 believes that publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be temporarily appropriate while countries are accelerating the phasing-out of their dependency on Russia, a draft communique seen by Reuters showed.

* Leaders of the G7 called for a “world without nuclear weapons,” urging Russia, Iran, China and North Korea to cease nuclear escalation and embrace non-proliferation, a statement released by the White House showed.

In-Depth Stories

* At Hiroshima G7, bomb survivors grapple with a disarmament dream deferred

* In her own words: A Hiroshima bomb survivor learns English to tell her story

* Japan’s G7 refugee balancing act: door open for Ukrainians, but not many others

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