Zelenskyy urges G7 for more aid as war rages – Times of India


ELMAU CASTLE, GERMANY: President Volodymyr Zelensky will urge world powers to step up their support for Ukraine when he addresses the G7 summit on Monday, including: Kiev rolls of the first Russian attacks on the capital in weeks.
US President Joe Biden and his colleagues from the Group of Seven Prosperous Democracies, meeting in the Bavarian Alps, have emphasized their unity in the face of Russian aggression – even as the global consequences worsen.
Zelenskyy will join the leaders of the United States, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Canada at 10:00 AM (0800 GMT) via video link.
In his daily speech late Sunday, Zelenskyy reiterated his calls for more weapons and air defense systems for Ukraine and for new sanctions against Russia by G7 countries.
“We need a powerful air defense – modern, fully effective. It can provide full protection against these missiles. We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements. And partners must act faster if they are really partners , no observers,” he said.
“Delays in arms transfers to our state, any restrictions are actually an invitation for Russia to strike again and again.”
Zelenskyy’s appeal came after Russia smashed into a residential building in Kiev, Ukraine, killing one and injuring four others, including a seven-year-old girl.
Biden condemned the strikes, the first on the Ukrainian capital in nearly three weeks, as “barbarity”.
German Chancellor and G7 presenter Olaf Scholz said the attack showed again “that it is right to stand together and support Ukrainians”.
However, Russia denied hitting a civilian target but said its forces attacked the Artyom weapons factory nearby.
The G7 summit, held at picturesque Elmau Castle, will last until Tuesday. It will be followed by a meeting of NATO countries in Spain, which Zelenskyy is also expected to call in.
Last week, the European Union expressed its support by granting Kiev candidate status.
G7 members kicked off their rally on Sunday by announcing a ban on the import of Russian gold, the latest in a series of sanctions aimed at crippling President Vladimir Putin’s war efforts.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned his fellow G7 leaders not to give in to “fatigue” and said Ukraine would need long-term help.
The conflict has already sparked a food and energy crisis that has fueled inflation and fueled fears of a recession, including among Kiev’s western allies.
Downing Street said Johnson would call for “urgent action” on Monday to restart Ukraine’s essential grain exports, which had been held up by Russia’s blockade of key ports.
With millions of tons of grain trapped in silos, concerns are growing that countries in North Africa and the Middle East that rely heavily on Ukrainian exports could face famine.
Non-G7 countries Argentina, Indonesia, India, Senegal and South Africa have been invited to join the G7 summit from Monday.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who will host a G20 summit in November, has said he plans to use the trip in the coming days to visit Ukraine and Russia to ask Putin and Zelenskyy to open a dialogue for peace.
Indonesia, like most major emerging economies, has tried to maintain a neutral stance, and Widodo has not succumbed to Western pressure to exclude Putin from the November meeting.
On the ground in Ukraine, Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko said Sunday’s rocket attack on the city was a Russian attempt to intimidate Ukrainians ahead of the NATO summit.
Tearful residents recounted the moment the rockets hit.
“I woke up to the first explosion, went to the balcony and saw rockets fall and heard a huge explosion – everything was shaking,” 38-year-old Yuri told AFP, but declined to give his last name.
An AFP team said there was a fire on the top three floors of the building and the stairwell had been completely destroyed.
But the Russian Defense Ministry condemned reports that it had targeted a residential building as ‘fake’.
After failing to take Kiev early after their February 24 invasion, Russian forces have shifted their focus to the eastern Donbas region, which has been partially controlled by pro-Moscow separatists since 2014.
The Russians made a strategic breakthrough on Saturday when they captured the industrial center of Severodonetsk, the scene of weeks of fierce fighting that largely destroyed it.
The mayor of Severodonetsk said it was “fully occupied” by Russian troops after Ukrainian forces withdrew to better defend the neighboring city of Lysychansk.
Its capture would put Russia in control of the entire region of Lugansk in the Donbas, the industrial heart of Ukraine.

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