WASHINGTON: G7 leaders, joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met in a virtual summit Friday (Feb 24) to emphasise their commitment to halting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched exactly a year ago.
The meeting, hosted by current G7 chair Japan, began at 9:10am (1410 GMT) in Washington and ended at 10:38am (1538 GMT), the White House said.
Ahead of the meeting, the United States announced a new US$2 billion pledge of weaponry for Ukraine and sweeping measures to tighten sanctions against Russia, as well as new sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian war machine.
Japan’s prime minister said the G7 would reiterate a call for other countries not to send military aid to Russia, which has occupied swaths of eastern and southern Ukraine, while failing in its original goal of toppling the pro-Western government and occupying the capital Kyiv.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida did not single out any nation, though Russia has used Iranian drones in Ukraine, and Washington has recently warned that Beijing is weighing supplying Moscow’s war effort. China has denied those claims.
“In view of the military support for Russia by third countries that has been pointed out, the G7 intends to call for such support to cease,” Kishida told reporters ahead of the online summit.
“What’s important in today’s meeting is for the G7 to remain united. In order to stop Russia’s invasion, it is also important to reaffirm that we will continue with and strengthen our sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine,” he added.