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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy arrives in Japan for G7 summit as world leaders sanction Russia

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HIROSHIMA, May 20 (AP): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived on Saturday in Japan for talks with the leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies, a personal appearance meant to galvanize global attention as the nations ratcheted up pressure on Moscow for its 15-month invasion of Ukraine.

Bolstering international support is a key priority as Ukraine prepares for what’s seen as a major push to take back territory seized by Russia in the war that began in February last year. Zelenskyy’s in-person visit to the G7 summit comes just hours after the United States agreed to allow training on potent American-made fighter jets, laying the groundwork for their eventual transfer to Ukraine.

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Host nation Japan said Zelenskyy’s inclusion stems from his “strong wish” to participate in talks with the bloc and other countries that will influence his nation’s defense against Russia.

“Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today,” Zelenskyy tweeted upon his arrival on a plane provided by France.

China asks embassies to avoid ‘propaganda’ in apparent reference to pro-Ukrainian displays

A European Union official, speaking on condition of anonymity to brief reporters on the deliberations, said Zelenskyy will take part in two separate sessions Sunday. One session will be with G7 members only and will focus on the war in Ukraine. Another will include the G7 as well as the other nations invited to take part in the summit, and will focus on “peace and stability.”

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U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that President Joe Biden and Zelenskyy would have direct engagement at the summit. On Friday, Biden announced his support for training Ukrainian pilots on U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, a precursor to eventually providing those aircraft to Ukraine.

The G7 vowed to intensify the pressure in its joint statement Saturday.

“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. We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” the group said.

G7 leaders have faced a balancing act as they look to address a raft of global worries demanding urgent attention, including climate change, AI, poverty and economic instability, nuclear proliferation and, above all, the war in Ukraine.

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China, the world’s No. 2 economy, sits at the nexus of many of those concerns.

There is increasing anxiety that Beijing, which has been steadily building up its nuclear weapons program, could try to seize Taiwan by force, sparking a wider conflict. China claims the self-governing island as its own and regularly sends ships and warplanes near it.

The G7 on Saturday said they did not want to harm China and were seeking “constructive and stable relations” with Beijing, “recognizing the importance of engaging candidly with and expressing our concerns directly to China.”

They also urged China to pressure Russia to end the war in Ukraine and “support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

North Korea, which has been testing missiles at a torrid pace, must completely abandon its nuclear bomb ambitions, “including any further nuclear tests or launches that use ballistic missile technology,” the leaders’ statement said.

The green light on F-16 training is the latest shift by the Biden administration as it moves to arm Ukraine with more advanced and lethal weaponry, following earlier decisions to send rocket launcher systems and Abrams tanks. The United States has insisted that it is sending weapons to Ukraine to defend itself and has discouraged attacks by Ukraine into Russian territory.

“We’ve reached a moment where it is time to look down the road again to say what is Ukraine going to need as part of a future force, to be able to deter and defend against Russian aggression as we go forward,” Sullivan said.

Biden’s decisions on when, how many, and who will provide the fourth-generation F-16 fighter jets will be made in the months ahead while the training is underway, Biden told leaders.

The G7 leaders have rolled out a new wave of global sanctions on Moscow as well as plans to enhance the effectiveness of existing financial penalties meant to constrain President Vladimir Putin’s war effort. Russia is now the most-sanctioned country in the world, but there are questions about the effectiveness.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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