G-7 leaders to meet online May 8 to show unity and pressure Russia
Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations will hold a virtual meeting on Sunday to discuss the latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine and demonstrate their continued unity in pressuring Moscow to end aggression, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
US President Joe Biden said earlier that talks will include whether or not to take additional punitive action against Russia, while saying his administration is “open to further sanctions”.
Sunday morning’s meeting will be chaired by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and joined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to Psaki. The G-7 includes Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, as well as the European Union.
She also noted that the date of the meeting is a day before Russia’s Victory Day, an anniversary commemorating the then-Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II. .
“(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin certainly projected his desire to mark this day as a day when he is victorious over Ukraine,” Psaki said, adding: “Of course he is not.”
Sunday’s virtual meeting of G-7 leaders is an opportunity to “show how united the West is in the face of President Putin’s aggression and invasion,” she said.
Russia launched its military attack on Ukraine on February 24 after claiming its security was threatened by the eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the possibility of Ukraine joining the security alliance.
Putin also insisted he was carrying out a “special military operation” to “demilitarize and denazify” the former Soviet republic, even though Zelenskyy is a Jew whose relatives were victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
The United States and its allies called Putin’s war unjustified and unprovoked, and provided military and other assistance to Ukraine to help the country defend itself.