President Zelensky says Ukraine war must end by winter as he calls on G7 leaders to supply anti-aircraft systems and even tougher Russian sanctions

  •  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed G7 leaders via video link
  •  Zelensky said he wanted Russia’s war in Ukraine ended by the end of the year
  • He also asked for help exporting grain from Ukraine and for reconstruction aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today told G7 leaders he wanted Russia’s war in Ukraine ended by the end of the year before the winter sets in. 

Addressing the G7 Summit in the Bavarian Alps via video link, Zelensky said battle conditions would make it tougher for his troops as they mount their fightback against Vladimir Putin’s men.

He therefore urged the G7 leaders to do their utmost to end the war by the year’s end, as he asked for anti-aircraft defence systems and security guarantees. 

Zelensky also pleaded with the leaders ‘intensify sanctions’ against Russia as he stressed the necessity to keep heaping ‘heavy’ punitive action on Moscow and to ‘not lower the pressure’. 

The Ukrainian president asked for help to export grain from Ukraine and for reconstruction aid, the European official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

Zelenskiy addressed the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States by video link on Monday, the second day of the three-day G7 summit in southern Germany. 

The G7 leaders will commit on Tuesday to a new package of coordinated actions meant to raise pressure on Russia over its war in Ukraine, and will finalize plans for a price cap on Russian oil, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

The US is also planning to send Ukraine sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to defend against Russian attacks, a source familiar with the process said on Monday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today told G7 leaders he wanted Russia ‘s war in Ukraine ended by the end of the year before the winter sets in

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. President Joe Biden, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and France’s President Emmanuel Macron sit at a round table as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses G7 leaders via video link during their working session at Elmau Castle, Germany on Monday

President Joe Biden ‘has made the procurement of advanced air defence systems for Ukraine a priority’, the source said, asking not to be identified.

An announcement is ‘likely this week’ on the purchase of an ‘advanced medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile defence system’, as well as other weaponry to help Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion.

The announcement came amid news that Russia defaulted on its foreign sovereign bonds for the first time since the Bolshevik coup more than a century ago, as sweeping sanctions effectively cut the country off from the global financial system and rendered its assets untouchable to many investors.

A U.S. official said on Monday the default showed how dramatically the sanctions were impacting Russia’s economy. The official was speaking to reporters as the White House released a fact sheet detailing potential G7 actions to support Ukraine and further stem Moscow’s oil revenues.

‘The dual objectives of G7 leaders have been to take direct aim at (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s revenues, particularly through energy, but also to minimize the spillovers and the impact on the G7 economies and the rest of the world,’ the U.S. official said on the sidelines of the annual G7 summit.

The high-level talks come a day after Kyiv suffered the first Russian onslaught on the capital in three weeks, Ukraine said, with a missile attack hitting a residential building and leaving one person dead.

Two women were also killed by Russian bombardments on the northeastern Kharkiv region over the past 24 hours, the local governor said on Monday.

Rescuers work near a damaged residential building, which was damaged as a result of a missile strike by the Russian army in Kyiv on Sunday. The rockets hit the nine-storey building and a kindergarten

A view of a bomb crater after Russian shell hit a school building last night as the Russian-Ukraine war continues on Monday in the Shevchenkivs’kyi district of Kharkiv, Ukraine

G7 leaders, (clockwise from left) Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, European Union Council Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, French President Emanuel Macron and European Union Council President Charles Michel pose for a group photo on the first day of the three-day G7 summit at Schloss Elmau on June 26, 2022 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen

In response to the war in Ukraine, G7 nations, which account for nearly half the world’s economic output, are determined to crank up the pressure on Russia without stoking already soaring inflation that is particularly hurting the global south. 

The price cap could hit the Kremlin’s war chest while actually lowering energy prices.

G7 leaders will also make an ‘unprecedented, long-term security commitment to providing Ukraine with financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support as long as it takes’, including the timely provision of advanced weapons, the White House said in a fact sheet.

Western sanctions have hit Russia’s economy hard and the new measures are aimed at further depriving the Kremlin of oil revenues. G7 countries will work with others – including India – to limit the revenues that Putin can continue to generate, the according to the U.S. official.

‘This morning’s news around the finding of Russia’s default, for the first time in more than a century, situates just how strong the actions are that the U.S., along with allies and partners, have taken, as well as how dramatic the impact has been on Russia’s economy,’ the official added. 

This is a breaking news story, more to follow… 

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