Ukraine must get more support from its allies to be able to push Russia out of the newly conquered territories before cold weather allows the invaders to consolidate their gains, President Volodymyr Zelensky told the leaders of the Group of Seven nations in a video link Monday, according to officials present. “He believes that a grinding conflict is not in the interest of the Ukrainian people for obvious reasons,” President Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.
“So he would like to see his military and those in the West who are supporting his military and making maximum use of the next few months to put Ukraine in as good a position as they can possibly be in.” In order to conclude the war before the end of the year and push Russia back to the separation line before the February invasion, Ukraine needed more military, political and financial support from G-7 countries, Mr. Zelensky said, according to two other officials.
Mr. Zelensky told the G-7 leaders, who are meeting in the German Alps, that the harsh Ukrainian winter would make it more difficult for his troops to defend their positions and maintain supply lines to the front, which stretches over 2,000 kilometres, about 1,200 miles, from the north to the south of the country, the officials said.
The frozen ground would also make it easier for the invading Russian force to transport tanks, artillery and supplies, Mr. Zelensky told the other leaders.The Ukrainian leader also told the G-7 leaders that now was not the moment to negotiate with Russia. “Ukraine will negotiate when it is in a position to, that’s to say when it will have reestablished a strong position,” the Ukrainian president said, according to a French official. Mr. Zelensky also told leaders he hoped that the U.S. State Department would recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to a statement released by his office.
Mr. Zelensky repeated his call for G-7 nations—the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan—to urgently step up the delivery of more heavy weapons and aerial defenses to Ukraine in order to halt the Russian advance. He thanked the European Union members of the G-7—Germany, France and Italy—for awarding his country the status of candidate to join the bloc.
The G-7 leaders pledged to stand with Ukraine indefinitely in its fight against Russia and called on Moscow to cease its invasion and withdraw its troops to within internationally recognized borders. “We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the leaders of the club of wealthy democracies said in a statement on the second day of their summit in the German Alps.
The leaders of the G-7—which comprises the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany—said it was up to Ukraine to decide on a future peace settlement but that the group would continue to coordinate efforts to meet the country’s urgent requirements for military and defense equipment.
The group said it would align and expand targeted sanctions to further restrict Russia’s access to services and technologies produced in Western economies, “particularly those supporting Russia’s armament industrial base,” the statement said. Additional tariffs will be imposed on Russian goods.
The G-7 leaders also committed to help Ukraine with its reconstruction effort.