Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday addressed the Group of 7 and asked for natural gas and more advanced weaponry, including fighter jets, tanks, and long-range missiles.
After the meeting, G7 leaders released a joint statement reaffirming they will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.” So far, the US has held off giving Ukraine the longer-range weapons Zelensky seeks, but The Times reported Friday that the US is more likely to provide such arms as it now tacitly supports Ukrainian attacks deep inside Russian territory, which risks a major escalation of the war.
The G7 meeting on Monday was more focused on financial aid for Ukraine rather than military assistance. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the G7 was focused on both short-term and long-term needs, including the country’s post-war reconstruction, which he likened to US aid for Western Europe after World War II, known as the Marshall Plan.
“The reconstruction of Ukraine will be a human task that is perhaps comparable to the Marshall Plan,” Scholz said. The G7 leaders said they will instruct their finance ministers to hold a meeting soon to coordinate with the IMF on providing Ukraine with aid to cover its 2023 budget, which has a deficit of about $38 billion that Kyiv expects its Western backers to cover.
The G7 meeting came as millions of Ukrainians are without power as Russia has been launching large-scale attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure. President Biden spoke with Zelensky by phone on Sunday and told him that the US is prioritizing supporting Ukraine with air defense systems.