Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Japan to participate in talks aimed at punishing the Russian government for its invasion of Ukraine over the past 15 months. Zelensky’s visit aimed to prepare for a recession and increase international support. He arrived only hours after the United States agreed to allow the training of powerful U.S.-made fighter jets, which would become a vital aspect of Ukraine’s long-term security. G7 members, along with other countries invited to participate, held two separate meetings on Sunday. The first focused on the war in Ukraine, while the second discussed “peace and stability.”
During the meeting, the G7 pledged to raise pressure through joint statements. The leaders also discussed concerns about China’s nuclear weapons program and the country’s interest in taking over Taiwan, which may lead to further conflicts. Furthermore, the G7 leaders urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear bomb ambitions. The meeting also resulted in the decision to arm the U.S. with a rocket launcher system and Abrams tanks to protect against Russia.
Zelensky called for the use of Western fighter jets to bolster his country’s defenses. The latest sanctions targeting Russia include tightening restrictions on persons and companies involved in the already sanctioned war effort. The G7 also imposed new reporting obligations on individuals and companies with an interest in the assets of the Central Bank of Russia. The aim is to “completely map Russia’s holdings of sovereign assets that remain immovable within G7 jurisdictions until Russia pays for the damage it has done to Ukraine.”
Leaders kicked off the summit by visiting a peace park to commemorate the tens of thousands of victims in the explosion of the world’s first wartime atomic bomb. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed that attempts at change by force should not be allowed anywhere in the world, which could be a reference to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a warning to China over Taiwan. Biden has backed out of his plans to travel to Papua New Guinea and Australia after a stay in Japan to return to Washington for debt relief talks.