Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used a video call with G7 leaders on Monday to demand that the U.S. declare Russia to be a state sponsor of terrorism for its war in Ukraine, according to his office.
The war in Ukraine dominated several sessions of the G7 summit in southern Germany.
And the Ukrainian president appealed directly to President Joe Biden and his fellow leaders in their first session on Monday morning, asking for their help in ending the war before the bitter winter months.
He used the forum to go even further in his request to punish Moscow for its aggression and to further isolate President Vladimir Putin.
‘In addition, the president stressed the need to increase sanctions pressure on Russia, in particular by forcibly limiting the price of Russian oil exported,’ said his office in a readout of the conversation.
‘Volodymyr Zelensky expressed hope that the US Department of State would endorse the decision to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to G7 leaders on Monday by videolink, and used the occasion to urge the US to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism
Zelensky spoke to G7 leaders on the second day of their summit in southern Germany, asking them for urgent help to end the war before the bitterly cold winter months
Missile strikes left a huge crater in the yard of a school in a residential area of Kharkiv on Monday morning. Zelensky has repeatedly accused Moscow of attacking civilian targets
Such a move would have widespread impact.
It would allow the U.S. to sanction dozens of countries that do business with Moscow and freeze Russian assets in the U.S.
But the designation has been used only sparingly by Washington, and even at the height of the Cold War – when Moscow was known to be sponsoring terror groups – successive administrations considered an official designation to be a step too far.
However, other requests have been met more favorably.
Officials said on Monday that the U.S. was preparing to send an advanced air defense system to Ukraine, at a time when Russia was gaining the upper hand in a long range war of bombardment, and that leaders were nearing agreement on imposing an oil price cap to reduce Moscow’s income from exports.
Zelensky kept up his appeals for more help in heading off aerial attacks and also asked G7 leaders for help to end the conflict by winter.
He said battle conditions would make it tougher for his troops as they mount their fightback against Vladimir Putin’s men, according to diplomatic sources he spoke to Reuters and Agence France-Press.
He also pleaded for tougher sanctions on Russia and said it was vital to heap ‘heavy’ punitive action on Moscow and ‘not lower the pressure.’
NASAMS is a Norwegian-developed air defense system, which is used in Washington to protect the White House and U.S. Capitol. Reports say the U.S. has bought a system for Ukraine
Zelensky asked for more help from G7 leaders as his country comes under heavy bombardment from Russian forces in the east, and said he wanted the war over by winter
After hearing from Zelensky, the leaders promised to support Ukraine for ‘as long as it takes.’
They also dismissed ideas that Ukraine’s supporters might push for any kind of peace deal that would include ceding territory to Russia.
‘We, the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7), are steadfast in our solidarity with Ukraine, and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to support the government and people of Ukraine in their courageous defence of their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in their fight for a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future,’ they said.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that the U.S. was finalizing a military aid package that includes advanced air defense systems
It was up to Ukraine to decide on a future peace settlement, they added.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that the next package of aid would include air defense.
‘I can confirm that we are in fact, in the process of finalizing a package that includes advanced air defense capabilities,’ he told reporters at the G7 venue.
‘As [Biden] told President Zelensky, we do intend to finalize a package that includes advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities for the Ukrainians, along with some other items that are of urgent need, including ammunition for artillery and counter-battery radar systems.’
Sources told multiple news organizations that the U.S. would soon announced it had bought a NASAMS unit, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system, for Ukraine.
It is the same system used to protect airspace in sensitive sites in the U.S., such as the White House and the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Ukrainian troops would have to be trained in its use before it could be deployed.
– Rescuers and firefighters work in a damaged residential building, hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv on June 26, 2022, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine
L to R: 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
The latest versions of the system have been in service since 2007, and couples advanced radar with 12 rocket launches to destroy aircraft, helicopters, drones and missiles around high-value targets.
It comes at a crucial time in the conflict.
After repelling Russian forces advancing on the capital Kyiv in the early days of the war, Ukraine has warned that the tables have turned.
Officers say they are struggling to compete with Russia’s long range firepower in the eastern Donbas region.
In recent days Russia has captured Severodonetsk and is now targeting Lysychansk.
And Russia hit Kyiv with missiles early Sunday, in a strike that coincided with the start of the G7 summit.
Soon after Zelensky used his daily video address to warn that delays in arms deliveries was ‘an invitation to Russia to strike again and again.’
The Kyiv strikes, he said, showed the urgency required.
‘Part of the missiles were shot down. But only part,’ he said. ‘We need a powerful air defense – modern, fully effective. Which can ensure complete protection against these missiles.
‘We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements. And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers.’
The war has topped the agenda of G7 leaders meeting in Germany. Tuesday will bring fresh sanctions, according to a senior Biden administration official.
A senior Biden administration official said the leaders were close to agreeing to impose a price cap on Russian oil.
Clockwise from left: Italy’s Mario Draghi, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Joe Biden, Mr Johnson, Japan’s Fumio Kishida, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel
The package includes more medium-range rocket systems – known as High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems – to help Ukraine in what has now become a war fought at distance with artillery and missiles.
The Pentagon said it also included 18 tactical vehicles to tow howitzers, 18 patrol boats, thousands of machine guns, grenade launchers and rounds of ammunition.
The U.S. has committed more than $6 billion in security aid since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
‘The goal here is to starve Russia, starve Putin as his main source of cash and forced down the price of Russian oil to help blunt the impact of Putin’s war at the pump,’ said the official.
More U.S. sanctions on Russian defense-related companies and individuals will be announced on Tuesday, said the official.
Last week the U.S. announced it was sending another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine.