Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” to rid the country of far-right nationalists and ensure Russian security. The war has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing and laid waste to cities.
During their summit in Germany, G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, said they would keep sanctions on Russia for as long as necessary and intensify international pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s government and its ally Belarus.
“Imagine if we allowed Putin to get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country, sovereign, independent territory,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC.
The United States said it was finalising another weapons package for Ukraine that would include long-range air-defence systems – arms that Zelenskyy specifically requested when he addressed the leaders by video link on Monday.
In his address to the G7 leaders, Zelenskyy asked again for more arms, US and European officials said. He requested help to export grain from Ukraine and for more sanctions on Russia.
The G7 nations promised to squeeze Russia’s finances further – including a deal to cap the price of Russian oil that a US official said was “close” – and promised up to $29.5 billion more for Ukraine.
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” a G7 statement said.
The White House said Russia had defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century as sweeping sanctions have effectively cut the country off from the global financial system.
Russia rejected the claims, telling investors to go to Western financial agents for the cash which was sent but bondholders did not receive.
The war has created difficulties for countries way beyond Europe’s borders, with disruptions to food and energy exports hitting the global economy.