In the margins of the G7 summit, Zelensky tries to gather new allies

The Japanese city of Hiroshima will be dominated by the G7 summit all weekend. Also invited is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but not everyone is happy about that.

Why is this important?

The G7 is a collection of seven major industrial countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. The EU is also often the eighth participant at the table, where the current situation in the world is discussed, which now also includes the war in Ukraine. In addition to the G7 leaders and top European politicians (Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel), the heads of state of various other countries are also invited, as are the top officials of several UN organizations.

On the agenda: The war in Ukraine is obviously going to be an important one speaking pointto the chagrin of some.

  • Hiroshima, the city destroyed by the American nuclear bomb Little Boy, the G7 summit should mainly focus on the phasing out of nuclear arsenals. However, that aspect was completely overshadowed by Zelensky’s visit. The war in Ukraine, and support for his country, suddenly became the main talking point at the table.
  • Zelensky also got a lot out of that. For example, the US gave in to pressure from Europe to participate in the training of Ukrainians for the F-16 fighters. Later, US President Joe Biden also tacked not to hinder the delivery of aircraft.
  • On Sunday, the Ukrainian won a new blow: the US promised a new military aid package, the 38th, worth $ 375 million. This includes 50,000 artillery shells, four bridge-laying systems and more than a hundred armored ambulances.

In the wings: The heads of state of Brazil and India were also invited, and received a slap on the wrist.

  • Zelensky confronted Brazilian President Lula and Indian Prime Minister Nahindra Modi about their close ties to Russia. Both countries refused to support sanctions against Russia.
  • By confronting Modi and Lula now face-to-face, Zelensky hopes to convince them to condemn the war after all, and perhaps move on to supporting Ukraine. Both countries have a major impact on the global economy, which could push Russia and its allies further down the drain. India, for example, still plays a crucial role in the distribution of Russian oil, which is no longer allowed to flow directly to countries of the European Union or the G7, at the prices Russia wants.
  • In addition, Brazil and India have a lot of weapon systems and ammunition that Ukraine can use well. For example, India is in the process of phasing out BM-21 Grad missile systems; systems that the Ukrainian army is already using. In addition, the country uses many devices that fire 155mm artillery shells; the caliber that Ukraine needs in large numbers. On the Brazilian side, the Leopard 1 tanks, M113 troop transporters and Gepard anti-aircraft tanks are particularly interesting.

The essence: Zelensky’s tour should therefore not only provide an extra chat between allies; he is also looking for new friends.

  • On Friday, the president traveled to Riyadh, Sudan, where he attended a meeting of the Arab League. Many countries around the table refused to speak out emphatically against the Russian invasion, and afterwards did not proceed at all to arms deliveries or to sign the sanctions against Russia.
  • Zelensky does have a partner in the host country of Saudi Arabia: the country regularly acts as a mediator, for instance when the fighting parties exchange prisoners of war. In addition to looking for allies, Zelensky also wants to find support for his 10-point plan, the peace plan that must end the war.

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