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Zelenskyy urges G7 summit leaders to help end war before 2023

The French presidency said that Zelenskyy told leaders that now is not the time for negotiations.

Zelesnkyy's video call with the G7 leaders and Ursula Von Der Leyen.
Zelesnkyy's video call with the G7 leaders and Ursula Von Der Leyen.
Image: @vonderleyen on Twitter

Updated Jun 27th 2022, 12:00 PM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODOMYR Zelenskyy told world leaders at a G7 summit meeting today that Ukraine needed more support for their fight against Russia, as battlefield conditions were getting more difficult.

A war pushing past winter also risked raging further beyond, he said.

He therefore urged the G7 leaders to do their maximum to end the war by year’s end, including by intensifying sanctions against Russia, an AFP source said.

Zelenskyy addressed the leaders of the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy by video link from Kyiv as they gathered in the luxury Schloss Elmau resort in the Bavarian Alps.

Zelenskyy believes that the time has not yet come to open negotiations with Russia, as Kyiv is still seeking to consolidate its positions, the French presidency said after the meeting.

“President Zelenskyy gave a very clear response that now is not the time for negotiations. Ukraine will negotiate when it is in a position to do so, that is, when it has basically re-established a position of strength,” the French presidency stated.

Following his address Zelenskyy called on G7 leaders to further squeeze Russia over its invasion of Ukraine “by limiting the price of oil” exported by Moscow.

“For us, a consistent position of the G7 countries on sanctions is important. They must be further strengthened, by limiting the prices of oil exported by the aggressor,” Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram account. 

G7 leaders issued a statement to Russia saying it must allow Ukrainians taken to Russia against their will to return home at once and expressed “serious concern” over Russia’s plans to deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months.

They also demanded that Russia allow grain shipments to leave Ukraine to avoid exacerbating a global food crisis.

“We urgently call on Russia to cease, without condition, its attacks on agricultural and transport infrastructure and enable free passage of agricultural shipping from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea,” the statement read.

According to an AFP source, the US government plans to announce as soon as this week that it has bought a Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine to use for its defence.

President Joe Biden “has made the procurement of advanced air defence systems for Ukraine a priority”, the source said.

This would fulfil one of Zelenskyy’s key requests, who has been warning his key cities are defenceless against Russian missile strikes including those that rocked the nation’s capital yesterday evening, killing one.

He stressed the necessity to keep heaping “heavy” punitive action on Russia, and to “not lower the pressure” despite the multiple rounds of sanctions that Western allies have unleashed on Moscow.

Zelenskyy has also urged them to be “partners, not observers” and provide the military equipment his country needs.

His meeting with the G7 leaders was not shown to the public but in his overnight address to the Ukrainian people he said the country needed a powerful, modern and fully effective air defence system that can ensure complete protection against missiles.

“We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements,” he said.

German chancellor and host leader of this year’s G7, Olaf Scholz, tweeted after Zelenskyy’s address that the G7 “will continue to increase pressure on Putin. This war has to come to an end”.

The most recent round of EU sanctions against Russia came into effect on 3 June and include a ban on imports of Russian crude oil and refined petroleum products (with limited exceptions), the banning of three Russian-affiliated TV stations and sanctions against 18 entities and 65 individuals.

The Kremlin insisted today there were “no grounds” to say that Russia had defaulted on its foreign currency sovereign debt.

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Bloomberg News reported earlier today that Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in more than a century, after the grace period on some $100 million (€95 million) of interest payments due yesterday had expired.

Western sanctions have largely severed the country from the international financial system, making it difficult for Moscow to service its debt.

With additional reporting from Jamie Mc Carron

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