Zelensky joins G-7 summit as US plans to send new defensive aid to Ukraine

TELFS, Austria – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky meeting with world leaders virtually group of seven summits Germany on Monday as the United States makes new aid efforts Defense of Kyiv against Russia,

A senior G-7 official said the US is planning to provide Ukraine with a medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile system, which will enhance its capabilities to counter Russian attacks from further range. will increase.

A second senior administration official said the US and the G-7 are also planning to announce expanded sanctions targeting Russia’s defense capabilities, aimed at preventing Russia from replenishing weapons being used against Ukraine. have to stop.

Zelensky is urging G-7 leaders to accelerate the support they have provided, increase the weapons they are supplying, and cut Russian energy imports. His remarks to the group come at a time when Ukrainian forces are struggling to hang on to key eastern territory of Luhansk.

Hours before the summit begins on Sunday, Russian missiles struck a residential building in Kyiv,

While the heads of state intend to show a united front at the summit, different views European leaders have begun to erupt in recent months over whether Ukraine should hand over some territory to Russia to end the war, which has led to soaring energy prices and global food shortages. Biden stressed the need for unity in his remarks at the start of the summit on Sunday.

“We have to stick together,” Biden said before a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin “had been confident from the start that NATO and the G-7 would fall apart.” But we haven’t, and we’re not going to.”

Germany, which has continued to import Russian gas and recently began sending heavy artillery to Ukraine, is among the countries Zelensky has criticized for not providing much support.

Another senior administration official said the US also announced on Monday that it wants to increase tariffs on more than 570 groups of Russian products worth about $2.3 billion. Proceeds from those charges will go directly to aid Ukraine.

Leaders will continue to discuss a price cap on Russian oil exports that could cut into the Kremlin’s energy revenues and leaders are expected to ask their countries’ officials to develop mechanisms to set a global price cap for Russian oil. Work to do, said the second officer.

“The goal here is to starve Russia, starve Putin, the main source of cash, and drive down the price of Russian oil to help offset the impact of Putin’s war on the pump,” the official said.

Ahead of his visit, President Joe Biden authorized the sending of another $450 million in weapons to Ukraine, bringing the total US commitment since the start of the war to $6.1 billion. According to the Defense Department, the latest round of equipment includes four high-mobility artillery rocket systems, 36,000 rounds of ammunition, 18 tactical vehicles, 1,200 grenade launchers, 2,000 machine guns, 18 coastal and riverside patrol boats, spare parts and other equipment. Huh.

The leaders agreed to impose sanctions on imports of Russian gold, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday, which is Russia’s second biggest export after energy and a source of significant revenue.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy offered a show of unity for Zelensky last month when he formed a joint meeting for Kyiv and vowed to support Ukraine’s candidacy to join the European Union.

Zelensky is also due to speak at a NATO summit in Madrid later this week, where leaders plan to announce new force currency commitments to strengthen the coalition’s defenses and prevent Russia from attacking NATO member states. Is.

Last week the Ukrainian army was forced retreat from major eastern city After weeks of svierodonetsk Bombing and fighting with invading Russian armyThe city of Lisichansk has been left as the only obstacle between Russia taking full control of half of Ukraine’s industrial heartland, a local official said on Friday.

Biden has said he does not plan to travel to Ukraine during his swing through Europe this week, making him one of the few G-7 leaders to visit the country.

The president said whether or not he traveled there would “depend on a lot of things related to whether it causes more hardship for Ukrainians, whether it deviates from what is happening.”