G7 leaders gather in Italy for talks dominated by Ukraine - GulfToday

G7 leaders gather in Italy for talks dominated by Ukraine


This handout picture released by the Borgo Egnazia press shows buildings of the luxury complex that will host the G7 summit in Puglia from June 13 to 15. AFP

Leaders of the G7 wealthy nations gather in southern Italy this week against the backdrop of global and political turmoil, with boosting support for Ukraine top of the agenda.

US President Joe Biden, France's Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are among the Group of Seven leaders heading to the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Puglia for the June 13-15 summit.

It comes at a sensitive time, with wars raging in Ukraine and Gaza and with Biden, Macron and Britain's Rishi Sunak all facing elections in the coming weeks and months.

With an eye to the global challenges, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the host, has also invited around a dozen non-G7 heads of government, from Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan to India's Narendra Modi.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to the media. File photo

Pope Francis will also fly in on Friday to talk about artificial intelligence.

Support for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend a discussion Thursday on Russia's war on his country, now into its third year, where he will again press for more help from Western allies.

G7 leaders hope to agree a deal on using the profits from the interest on 300 billion euros ($325 billion) of frozen Russian central bank assets to help Kyiv.

The idea is to use the profits as collateral for a loan of up to $50 billion, but there is still debate over who would issue the debt as well as a raft of technical issues -- including what would happen if the assets were unfrozen in the event of peace.

Italian police officers stand at a security checkpoint near the Borgo Egnazia resort in Savelletri, Italy. Reuters

John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto's G7 Research Group, said he expected an agreement.

"This issue has been the signature test of the summit's performance on Russia's aggression against Ukraine, so the G7 leaders will not do too little here," he told the media.

The leaders are also expected to discuss their concerns over China's support for Russia's military expansion.

While the summit is officially three days, the sessions end on Friday, with Zelensky and some other leaders heading Saturday to a conference on Ukraine in Switzerland.

Biden will not attend, instead sending Vice President Kamala Harris.

Agence France-Presse


Related articles