G7 And President Biden: ‘Swift Aid For Ukraine’ – OpEd


G7 (Group of Seven) major powers foreign ministers met on Capri Island, Italy on April 18, 2024, and pledged to bolster Ukraine’s air defences to counter increasingly deadly Russian attacks and told China to stop supporting Moscow’s military industry if it wanted good relations with the West!

Foreign ministers from the G7, comprising the US, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Britain, concluded their three days of talks that were dominated by wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. However, at the same time German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was on his second trip (13-16 April 2024) to China!

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba came to Capri in person to tell G7 allies that they needed to send more aid as a result of growing Russian momentum on the battlefield.

The G7 Foreign Ministers:

  • The G7 Foreign minister acknowledged they had to do more to help Ukraine, which is struggling to hold off stronger Russian forces.
  • Would increase security assistance for Kyiv, specifically bolstering “Ukraine’s air defence capabilities to save lives and protect critical infrastructure”.
  • Urged de-escalation in the Middle East, where the deep enmity between Israel and Iran risks triggering a wider regional conflict. 
  • How to use profits from some $300 billion of sovereign Russian assets held in the West to help Ukraine, as EU member states hesitate over concerns about the legality of such a move. A decision is expected to be taken at a summit of G7 leaders in June.
  • The political objective of the G7 is de-escalation. Would work to prevent conflict between Israel and Iran spiraling out of control, while simultaneously seeking to end the war in Gaza.
  • “There is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, and we oppose China’s militarization, coercive and intimidation activities in the South China Sea.” 
  • On China, US Secretary of state Antony Blinken said that while North Korea and Iran were the main suppliers of weapons to Russia, China was the “Primary Contributor” to Moscow’s defence industry.
  • Antony Blinken said” We emerge from this meeting of the foreign ministers more united than ever!”

The foreign ministers’ summit ended shortly after what sources described as an Israeli attack on Iran in retaliation for a recent Iranian drone and missile assault on Israel. However, skirmishes broke out between police and demonstrators in the southern city of Naples with crowds chanting “Free Gaza” and holding up a banner that read: “Stop the Genocide”.

Germany’s Scholz’s Duplicity Continues 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was on his second trip to China since he became chancellor in late 2021. Scholz’s three-day visit comes at the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership. Visiting German delegation had three federal ministers and many business leaders. 

The US wants the EU to be strict with China. But Europe can’t afford it. While the EU has dubbed China as a “Strategic Rival” on different occasions, it is pursuing a different approach from the US. German chancellor ‘Rules Out Decoupling China’ but calls for quality cooperation.

Despite the political and trade frictions, China was Germany’s top trading partner for the eighth straight year in 2023, with 254.1 billion euros ($271 billion) in goods and services exchanged between the sides. Germany has been China’s largest trading partner in Europe for 49 consecutive years, while China has been Germany’s largest global trading partner for eight consecutive years. That’s slightly more than what Germany traded with the US but a 15.5 percent contraction from the year before. China and Germany as the world’s second- and third-largest economies in the current changing international situation. Just a few days ago, German automotive giant Volkswagen announced a €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) investment to expand its operations in China. Data showed that China was the third largest buyer of European goods and the most important market for imported EU products in 2021 The facts show that practical cooperation is not an option, but a necessity.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters that Berlin could not tolerate seeing China forging closer ties with Russia. “If China openly pursues an ever-closer partnership with Russia, which is waging an illegal war against Ukraine, … we cannot accept this.” 

On trade, Xi told Scholz that their two countries should stay vigilant against the rise of protectionism and take an objective view of the issue of manufacturing capacity, according to the statement. Scholz said, in order for German companies to continue operating in China, “they need the right conditions.” Interactions between the two major economies undoubtedly hold great significance for bilateral relations and China-Europe relations. However, the EU is mulling tariffs to protect its producers against cheaper Chinese electrical vehicle imports, which some fear will flood the European market.

The Chinese statement said, “China encourages and supports all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis and supports the holding in due course of an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans.” German Chancellor Scholz said he asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping to pressure Russia to end its “Insane Campaign” in Ukraine.

US Passes Security Assistance to Ukraine 

The US House of Representatives on 20th April 2024 passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine ($60.84 billion), Israel ($26 billion) and Taiwan ($8.12 billion), over bitter objections from Republican hardliners. The Senate is set to begin considering the House-passed bill and the final passage was expected sometime to clear the way for President Biden to sign into law.

The Pentagon says it can quickly get more weaponry into Ukraine once Biden signs the arms package deal. The Defense Department said it has a network of storage sites in the US and Europe that would allow supplies to be sent to Ukraine within days. “We would like very much to be able to rush the security assistance in the volumes we think they need to be able to be successful,” Pentagon press secretary Maj Gen Pat Ryder told reporters. 

Ukraine President Zelenskyy said that his country has “A Chance at Victory” over Russia with the new armaments package for Kyiv’s troops that is nearing approval supported by President Biden…The US Army now does not have to fight protecting NATO countries. Ukrainians are doing that (Indication of fighting the Proxy War for the US).  And its only ammo that the civilized world is providing, and I think it’s a good decision.” The Ukrainians are committed to repelling the invaders, but the future of Ukraine will be decided not only on the battlefield but in Washington, Brussels, and Paris by the Western Leaders. Serious Peace Agenda discussions to end the Russia-Ukraine War seems missing and appears to be focusing on arming Ukraine on priority to prolong this war, at the first place the avoidable war.

“A Chance at Victory over Russia” – Zelenskyy

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *