Zelenskyy to join G7 summit in Hiroshima as leaders prepare to unveil new sanctions on Russia

HIROSHIMA: Leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies met on Friday to discuss new ways to punish Russia for its 15-month invasion of Ukraine, days before the president Volodymyr Zelensky joins the Group of Seven summit in person on Sunday.
Zelenskyy will make his furthest trip from his war-torn country as leaders are set to unveil new sanctions against Russia for its invasion. Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, confirmed on national television that Zelensky would attend the summit.
“We were sure that our president would be where Ukraine needed him, in any part of the world, to solve the problem of stability in our country,” Danilov said on Friday. “There will be very important decisions there, so physical presence is a crucial thing to defend our interests.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats against Ukraine, along with North Korea’s months-long barrage of missile tests and China’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal, have resonated with Japan’s desire to make nuclear disarmament an important part of the summit.
World leaders on Friday visited a peace park dedicated to the tens of thousands of people who died in the first wartime atomic bomb explosion.
Japanese leader Fumio Kishida said he invited Zelenskyy to the G7 Summit during his visit to Kyiv in March.
Zelenskyy is also expected to appear virtually at a Friday meeting of G7 leaders, where they are to be briefed on battlefield conditions and agree to step up efforts to limit Moscow’s war effort.
After group photos near the city’s iconic bombed dome, a wreath laying and a symbolic tree planting, a new round of sanctions was to be unveiled against Moscow, with a focus on redoubling efforts to make apply existing sanctions designed to stifle Russia’s war effort. and hold accountable those behind it, a US official said.
Russia is now the most sanctioned country in the world, but there are questions about the effectiveness of financial sanctions.
The US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to preview the announcement, said the US component of the equities would blacklist about 70 Russian and third-country entities involved in Russian defense production and sanction more than 300 individuals, entities, aircraft and ships. .
The official added that other G7 countries would take similar steps to further isolate Russia and undermine its ability to wage war in Ukraine. Details were expected to emerge during the weekend summit.
The European Union has been focused on closing the door to loopholes and plans to restrict the trade in Russian diamonds, European Council President Charles Michel told reporters on Friday.
He said the G7 would also try to impress upon the leaders of non-member countries invited to the summit why it is so important to apply sanctions.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in parliament, wants nuclear disarmament to be at the center of discussions, and he officially launched the summit at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
A visit by world leaders to a park dedicated to preserving memories of August 6, 1945, when an American B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, provided a striking backdrop to the start of the summit.
An estimated 140,000 people were killed in the attack, and a rapidly declining number of now elderly survivors meant that Hiroshima became synonymous with anti-nuclear peace efforts.
“Honestly, I have big doubts that Mr. Kishida, who is pursuing military buildup and seeking to revise the pacifist constitution, can really discuss nuclear disarmament,” said Sueichi Kido, an 83-year-old hibakusha. or Nagasaki survivor. explosion, told The Associated Press. “But because they are meeting in Hiroshima, I have some hope that they will have positive discussions and take a small step towards nuclear disarmament.”
On Thursday night, Kishida opened up global diplomacy by sitting down with President Joe Biden after Biden arrived at a nearby military base. Kishida also held talks with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of the opening of the three-day leaders’ meeting.
The Japan-US alliance is the “very foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Kishida told Biden in his opening remarks. Japan, facing threats from authoritarian China, Russia and North Korea, has expanded its military but also relies on 50,000 US troops stationed in Japan and US military might.
“We are very pleased that the cooperation has evolved by leaps and bounds,” Kishida said.
Biden, who greeted US and Japanese troops at nearby Marine Corps Air Force Base Iwakuni before meeting Kishida, said: “When our countries are united, we are stronger and I think the whole world is stronger. safer when we do.”
As G7 participants traveled to Hiroshima, Moscow unleashed yet another airstrike on the Ukrainian capital. Loud explosions thundered over Kyiv in the early morning, marking the ninth time this month that Russian airstrikes have targeted the city after weeks of relative calm.
“The crisis in Ukraine: I’m sure that’s where the conversation will start,” said Matthew P. Goodman, senior vice president for economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said there will be “battlefield talks” in Ukraine and “the status of the sanctions and the measures that the G7 will collectively commit to respect”. execution in particular.
The United States froze Russian Central Bank funds, restricted banks’ access to SWIFT – the dominant system for global financial transactions – and sanctioned thousands of Russian companies, government officials, oligarchs and their families.
The Group of Seven countries collectively imposed a $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian oil and diesel last year, something the US Treasury Department defended in a new progress report on Thursday, saying that the cap succeeded in suppressing Russian oil revenues.
The Treasury cites data from the Russian Finance Ministry showing that the Kremlin’s oil revenue from January to March this year was more than 40% lower than last year.
The economic impact of sanctions largely depends on the extent to which a targeted country is able to circumvent them, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service. So over the past month, US Treasury officials have traveled across Europe and Central Asia to urge countries that still do business with the Kremlin to cut their financial ties.
“The challenge is to make the sanctions painful against Russia, not against ourselves,” Michel said. “It is very clear that each package is more difficult than the previous one and requires more political effort to reach a decision.”
G7 leaders and guests from several other countries are also expected to discuss how to handle China’s growing assertiveness and military buildup amid fears it is trying to seize Taiwan by force. , triggering a wider conflict. China claims the self-governing island as its own, and its warships and warplanes regularly patrol nearby.
Security was tight in Hiroshima, with thousands of police deployed across the city. A small group of protesters drastically outnumbered police as they gathered next to the ruins of the Atomic Peace Dome memorial on Wednesday night, holding signs including one that read “No imperialist G7 summit!”
In a diplomatic duel, Chinese President Xi Jinping is hosting leaders of Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for a two-day summit in the Chinese city of Xi’an.
Leaders are to discuss efforts to strengthen the global economy and address rising prices that are squeezing the budgets of families and governments around the world, especially in developing countries in Africa, Asia and from Latin America.
Debate over raising the debt ceiling in the United States, the world’s largest economy, has threatened to overshadow the G7 talks. Biden plans to rush back to Washington after the summit for debt talks, scrapping scheduled meetings in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The British Prime Minister arrived in Japan earlier on Thursday and visited the JS Izumo, a ship that can carry helicopters and fighter jets capable of vertical take-off and landing.
During their meeting on Thursday, Sunak and Kishida announced a series of agreements on issues such as defense; trade and investment; technology and climate change, Sunak’s office said.
The G7 includes Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Italy, as well as the European Union.
A host of other countries have been invited to the summit in hopes of strengthening ties with non-G7 nations while bolstering their support for efforts such as isolating Russia.
Leaders from Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Korea are among the guests. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to join via video link.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl