Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to attend virtual G7 summit
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will join President Biden and G7 leaders on Sunday morning for a virtual summit amid Russia’s months-long war with Ukraine, the White House announced Friday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the virtual summit would be chaired by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The G7 includes the United States, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.
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The group was once considered the G8 and included Russia, which was ousted from the group of major nations after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Biden, Zelenskyy and G7 leaders are expected to discuss “the latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine” and its “global impact”.
Psaki said the leaders will show “support for Ukraine and Ukraine’s future” and demonstrate “continued G7 unity.”
Psaki also said the leaders will discuss putting in place “our unprecedented sanctions to impose significant costs” on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, and discuss options for sanctioning other people and businesses. , while ensuring that measures are in place to “prevent companies or others from evading the sanctions we have put in place.”
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The United States, along with its European allies and partners, have imposed “tough” sanctions on Russia since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
In February, the United States, Canada and other European allies imposed sanctions on Russia and removed Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system. The United States and its allies said the move would “ensure these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and impair their ability to operate globally.”
The decision came from the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
SWIFT provides messaging services to banks in over 200 countries and is controlled by G-10 central banks including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands , the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland and Sweden.
The United States has also banned all Russian oil, gas and energy imports into the United States, targeting the “main artery” of Russia’s economy amid Putin’s war on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, PSAki said “we must not lose sight of the importance of… when this G7 meeting takes place”.
READ THE LATEST UPDATES ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE
The virtual G7 summit takes place “on the eve of Russia’s Victory Day, which President Putin has certainly planned to mark today as a day when he is victorious over Ukraine”.
“Of course he’s not,” Psaki said. “While he was expecting to march through the streets of Kyiv, that’s obviously not going to happen.”
Psaki added that “having this meeting and conversation on Sunday is an opportunity not only to show how unified the West is in the face of President Putin’s aggression and invasion, but also to show that unity requires work, requires effort, requires blood, sweat, tears sometimes.”
“And the president is committed to continuing to engage, to making sure that people are united with these leaders and united and moving forward,” Psaki said.
Last month, the president asked Congress for $33 billion for additional security, military, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and for U.S. efforts to bolster European security in cooperation with U.S. allies and partners. NATO.
The Biden administration is seeking $20.4 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine, including $5 billion in additional drawdown authorization, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative Ukraine and $4 billion for the State Department’s Foreign Military Funding Program.
This funding would provide additional artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armour and anti-aircraft capabilities; accelerated cyber capabilities and advanced air defense systems; assistance with mine clearance, improvised explosive devices and other explosive remnants of war to address chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material threats; and place NATO in a “stronger” security posture.
On economic aid, the administration is asking for $8.5 billion in aid for Ukraine to address and respond to the “immediate crisis” and help provide “basic services to citizens,” including funds to ensure Ukraine’s democratic government continues to function, to ensure they can provide food, energy and health care to the Ukrainian people, to counter misinformation and propaganda stories companies, and to support businesses during the autumn harvest and for “natural gas purchases” by the Ukrainian state energy company to meet needs in Ukraine.
The request for additional emergency funding came after the Biden administration last month announced $800 million in additional military aid for Ukraine, including heavy artillery and ammunition, as the country continues to fight to defend against Russia’s multi-front war. This funding was in addition to an authorization of $800 million in arms, ammunition and other security aid earlier this month.
The $1.6 billion the president approved this month for Ukraine comes on top of more than $1 billion the Biden administration has already sent to Ukraine.