Zelensky expected to ask for more support in speech to G7 leaders

The ongoing war in Ukraine will turn from a distant conflict to something more tangible for the leaders of the world’s seven richest democracies on Monday, with a speech from the embattled country’s president.

Volodymyr Zelensky said he will tell G7 leaders that despite their efforts to arm his country and isolate the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, more needs to be done — and fast.

While allies have taken swift action to impose an unprecedented array of sanctions, the Russian economy has proved resilient, especially as countries – including India – have stepped up to buy discounted oil from Moscow.

“This confirms that sanctions packages against Russia are not enough, that Ukraine needs more armed assistance and that air defense systems – the modern systems that our partners have – should not be in training rooms or storage facilities, but in Ukraine, where they are.” needed now,” Zelensky said in a speech to his people on Sunday.

One of the people listening to his speech on the sidelines of the G7 on Monday is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the world leaders who has not spoken strongly about the invasion.

Modern weapons, Zelensky said, are needed more in Ukraine than anywhere else in the world.

Ukraine has taken delivery of a handful of missile-based artillery from the United States and Britain, with promises of additional systems from Germany.

It has deployed 155-millimeter towed howitzers from the US, Canada and other allies, but Ukrainian defense officials and some in Zelensky’s office are calling for more and better systems, including 500 tanks.

Trudeau, Zelensky spoke on Sunday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an impromptu phone call with Zelensky on Sunday ahead of the Ukrainian leader’s speech, where they talked about “increasing pressure on Russia,” according to a readout of the appeal from senior officials.

Trudeau filled in Zelensky with the sort of discussions that took place late last week at the Commonwealth Summit, where Canada and Britain tried to persuade unwilling members of the organization from mostly former British colonies to come stronger behind Ukraine and condemn Russia.

The latest Commonwealth communiqué did not fully condemn the invasion of Moscow, although it did “note” the United Nations resolution of March holding Russia accountable.

Zelensky also tweeted about the call, saying the two were discussing further military cooperation.

VIEW | G7 meets in Germany to help Ukraine:

G7 leaders focus on helping Ukraine, punishing Russia

Aid for Ukraine was a major topic of the G7 meeting in Germany, where leaders pledged financial support. The group also discussed how to punish Russia for the invasion without further harming other economies.

The war in Ukraine has taken a lot of political oxygen and time for the G7 leaders, who at times seemed to struggle to spotlight other initiatives.

The US on Sunday launched what is known as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure, a multi-billion dollar program designed to help low-income countries build roads, bridges and airports to improve their economies. It is intended to rival China’s so-called Belt and Road initiative.

Beijing’s colossal infrastructure investments, according to its supporters, would provide the opportunity to usher in a new era of trade and growth for economies in Asia and beyond. But skeptics believe China is imposing a debt trap on borrowing governments.

G7 leaders pose for a photo on Sunday. From left to right: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; French President Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; US President Joe Biden; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

“Let communities around the world see for themselves and see for themselves the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies,” US President Joe Biden said after announcing the plan.

“If democracies show what we can do, everything we have to offer, I have no doubt that we will win the competition every time.”