G7 leaders, Ukraine president to hold talks amid new Russia blitz | Russia-Ukraine war News
Virtual meeting to take place a day after Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv.
The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy are set to hold urgent talks to discuss support for Ukraine following Russia’s largest aerial assault against cities since the war began.
The office of UK Prime Minister Liz Truss said she would use the virtual G7 gathering on Tuesday to urge fellow leaders to “stay the course”. “Nobody wants peace more than Ukraine. And for our part, we must not waver one iota in our resolve to help them win it.”
Commenting on the G7 meeting, the Kremlin said it expects more “confrontation” with the West.
“The mood ahead of the summit is well understood, it is easily predictable. The confrontation will continue,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday, adding that Russia will “achieve its set goals” in Ukraine.
Russia on Monday dropped more than 80 missiles in multiple Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, with at least 19 people killed and dozens wounded, according to Ukrainian officials.
The firing of missiles continued on Tuesday, with one person killed in Zaporizhzhia and an attack also reported in Lviv, Ukrainian authorities said.
The bombings came in retaliation for an explosion on Saturday that damaged the Kerch Bridge, which links Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for the bridge blast and warned of “severe” responses to any further attacks.
On Tuesday, the United Nations said the bombings may have violated the laws of war and would amount to war crimes if civilians were deliberately targeted.
“These strikes may have violated the principles of the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters in Geneva.
In a phone call with Zelenskyy on Monday, President Joe Biden promised that the United States would provide Ukraine with advanced air systems to help it “defend itself”.
Peskov on Tuesday criticised the US’s pledge.
“De facto, the United States is already bogged down in this affair,” he said, adding that the deliveries will make “this conflict longer and more painful for the Ukrainian side”.
“But it’s not going to change our goals and the end result,” he added.
Ready for talks
Separately on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was open to dialogue with Western nations on Ukraine Ukraine, but had yet to receive any proposals for a meeting.
In an interview on state TV, Lavrov said officials including White House national security spokesman John Kirby had said the US was open to talks but that Russia had refused.
“This is a lie,” Lavrov said. “We have not received any serious offers to make contact.”
Moreover, the foreign minister said Moscow would not turn down a meeting between Putin and Biden at a forthcoming G20 meeting and would consider the proposal if it received one.
“We have repeatedly said that we never refuse meetings. If there is a proposal, then we will consider it,” Lavrov said.
On the possibility that Turkey could host talks between Russia and the West, Lavrov said Moscow would be willing to listen to any suggestions but could not say in advance whether this would lead to results.