Biden wraps his arm around Zelenskyy to show his support ahead of the G7 talks in Hiroshima


President Biden warmly welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the G7 summit in Japan and put his arm around the embattled leader’s shoulder before the face-to-face meeting.

Addressing behind closed doors the leaders of the world’s seven largest economies, Zelenskyy appealed for more support in Ukraine’s fight against Russia at the annual summit, this year in Hiroshima, CNN reported.

At a photo op ahead of talks Saturday morning, Zelenskyy, wearing his iconic military green, posed for a dramatic photo alongside suit-and-tie world leaders.

As leaders gathered, Biden put his hand on Zelenskyy’s shoulder to show his support as the two shared a moment.

According to the New York Times, the White House confirmed that Biden and Zelenskyy will meet on Sunday afternoon.

Biden is expected to answer questions from reporters at a press conference afterwards.

From left to right: Gianluigi Benedetti, Italian Ambassador to Japan, President of the European Council Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Zelenskyy, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Zelenskyy traveled halfway across the world to attend the Group of Seven summit and stressed that 15 months after the Russian invasion, Ukraine still needs the support of its allies.

Back in Ukraine, Zelenskyy’s forces are preparing for a major counter-offensive to retake areas occupied by Russian troops.

“Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and increased cooperation for our victory. Peace will come closer today,” Zelenskyy tweeted after his arrival.

Since his arrival, he has met numerous leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and others.

“It is necessary to improve[Ukraine’s]air defense capabilities, including training our pilots,” Zelenskyy wrote on his official Telegram channel after meeting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right), Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida (center) and US President Joe Biden pose for a photo
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (right), Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (center) and US President Joe Biden pose for a photo in Hiroshima.

Zelenskyi scored a significant victory on Saturday when White House officials confirmed the US would allow allied nations to send F-16s to Ukraine and that the US would train Ukrainian pilots to fly the fighter jets.

Russia then condemned the step as “enormous risk”.

Zelenskyi’s presence has proved problematic for the leaders of some countries that have close economic ties with Russia.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was reportedly debating whether or not to sit down with the Ukrainian leader for fear of angering Russia and China, two of Brazil’s key trading partners.

Zelenskyi also held his first sit-down talk with Indian President Narendra Modi since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Modi recently increased his purchases of Russian energy and continues to seek weapons from Moscow. He also declined to directly condemn the Russian invasion.

Zelenskyy thanked Modi for the humanitarian aid India sent to Ukraine, a statement released after the meeting said.

Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy spent a moment together before talks began at the G-7 summit.

The Group of Seven is a group of industrialized nations consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This year, the heads of state and government of Australia, Brazil, the Comoros, the Cook Islands, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam were also invited. Russia was a member of the former Group Eight but was expelled in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized that the G7 summit aims to isolate both China and Russia.

“The task was set loud and clear: to defeat Russia on the battlefield, but not to stop there, but to eliminate it as a geopolitical competitor. In fact, any other country claiming an independent place in the world alliance will also suppress a competitor. Look at the decisions that are now being discussed and adopted in Hiroshima, at the G7 summit, aimed at double containment of Russia and China,” he said.

However, the G7 have promised to step up the pressure.

“Russia’s brutal war of aggression poses a threat to the entire world and violates basic norms, rules and principles of the international community. “We reiterate our unwavering support for Ukraine as long as it is necessary to bring about a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” the group said in a statement.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is also the focus of the summit amid growing concerns it may be trying to usurp Taiwan and Beijing’s ever-expanding nuclear program.

The G7 also hopes to persuade China to pressure Russia to end the war in Ukraine and “support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”

With post wires

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