ELMAU, Germany — The Group of Seven economic powers are set to commit themselves to supporting Ukraine in the long haul, with the U.S. preparing to announce the purchase of an advanced surface-to-air missile system for Kyiv, as leaders meet in the German Alps and confer by video link with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The G-7 leaders will begin Monday’s session of their three-day summit with a focus on Ukraine. Later, they will be joined by the leaders of five democratic emerging economies — India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina — for a discussion on climate change, energy and other issues.
Learn more Here’s What to Expect from the G7 Summit 2022
The war in Ukraine was already at the forefront of the G-7 leaders’ minds as they opened their summit at the secluded Schloss Elmau luxury hotel on Sunday — just as Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for the first time in weeks.
President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G-7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to.” Britain’s Boris Johnson warned the leaders not to give in to “fatigue.”
They have the chance to express their unity to Zelenskyy on Monday and reiterate their support for Kyiv, financially and otherwise.
Biden is set to announce that the U.S. is providing an advanced surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine, as well as additional artillery support, according to a person familiar with the matter, in the latest assistance meant to help the country defend against Russia’s bloody invasion.
According to a person who spoke under anonymity, the U.S. will purchase NASAMS, an anti-aircraft system that was developed in Norway, for medium-to-long-range defense. NASAMS is the exact same anti-aircraft system that the U.S. uses to defend the airspace surrounding the White House and Capitol.
The person stated that additional aid included more ammunition for Ukrainian artillery and counter-battery radars to help the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression in the Donbas.
Biden hopes to use his trip to Europe to proclaim the unity of the coalition pressing to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine as much as he is urging allies to do even more — seeking to counter doubts about its endurance as the war grinds into its fifth month.
The summit’s host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said last week that he wants to discuss the outlines of a “Marshall plan for Ukraine” with his G-7 counterparts, referring to the U.S.-sponsored plan that helped revive European economies after World War II.
With the war still in progress and destruction mounting by the day, it’s unlikely to be a detailed plan at this stage. Scholz has said that “rebuilding Ukraine will be a task for generations.”
The G-7 already is committed to help finance Ukraine’s immediate needs. The G-7’s finance ministers agreed last month to give $19.8 million in economic assistance to Kyiv to keep its basic services running and to prevent financial problems from hampering its defence against Russian forces.
According to a senior U.S. official speaking under anonymity in order to talk about private discussions between G-7 leaders, the U.S.A. and Europe share the same goals for a peaceful resolution to conflict.
Scholz and Macron, the French President, have attempted to make this happen through open conversations with Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin. They also supply weapons to Ukraine. The U.S. has largely cut off significant talks with Russia and aims to bolster Ukraine’s battlefield capacity as much as possible so that its eventual position at the negotiating table is stronger.
It may come down ultimately to how the G-7 leaders and others can find ways to reduce energy demand and prices that skyrocket once winter arrives.
The G-7 meeting is sandwiched between a European Union summit last week that agreed to give Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership — kicking off a process that is likely to take years with no guarantee of success — and a summit of NATO leaders starting Tuesday in Madrid.
The leaders of the G-7 — the U.S., Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Canada and Japan — may hope to make some progress in bringing their counterparts from their five guest countries closer to Western views on sanctions against Russia.
Scholz also is eager to win over such countries for his idea of a “climate club” for nations that want to speed ahead when it comes to tackling the issue.
— Moulson reported from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
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