“You succeeded!” : Rishi Sunak welcomes Volodymyr Zelensky as a hero to the G7 in a ‘powerful message’ to Vladimir Putin after Russia was kicked out of the group for its invasion of Ukraine
- Volodymyr Zelensky visited the G7 summit to strike a deal on fighter jets
- PM played pivotal role in arranging surprise visit, sources say
Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to the G7 summit yesterday to strike a deal on fighter jets, as it emerged Britain would start training Ukrainian pilots this summer.
Ukraine’s president arrived in Hiroshima and was greeted as a hero by world leaders.
Rishi Sunak hugged his fellow chef shortly after landing, saying; ‘Happy to see you. You did it.’ Asked by reporters if it was a good day for Ukraine, Mr Zelensky smiled, nodded and said: “Thank you very much.”
Last night government sources revealed that the Prime Minister had played a central role in arranging the surprise visit.
He reportedly suggested the idea to President Zelensky a month ago, saying it would help him secure a deal to secure Western planes and give him a golden opportunity to pressure leaders of neutral states like Israel. India and Brazil – both of which are present. the G7 – to side with Ukraine. British officials then discussed with their Japanese counterparts the idea of Zelensky’s presence, and an invitation was extended.
Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to the G7 summit yesterday to strike a deal on fighter jets
Rishi Sunak hugged his fellow chef shortly after landing, saying; ‘Happy to see you. You did it’
Upon arriving in Hiroshima, Zelensky tweeted: “Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will come closer today.
Last night Mr Sunak said: “The G7 used to be the G8 – Russia was expelled in 2014 for its illegal annexation of Crimea and its flagrant violations of human rights and the rule of law.
“Nine years later, it sends an incredibly powerful message to have my friend and Ukrainian President Zelensky with us in Hiroshima today.”
“It tells the world that the G7 is united with the people of Ukraine in the face of a terrible attack. And it demonstrates that brute force and oppression will not triumph over freedom and sovereignty. From the supply of Challenger tanks to missiles to range and pilot training, the UK’s support for the defense of Ukraine will never waver. I am delighted that the G7 have agreed on the importance of giving President Zelensky the equipment cutting-edge military necessary to win this war and prosper as a free and democratic nation.
Besides the summit, Mr Sunak – who is accompanied on the trip by his wife, Akshata Murty – explored Japanese culture, making traditional okonomiyaki pancakes at a restaurant and dining on sashimi and conger eel rice with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida. .
Prime Minister’s wife Akshata Murty attends the second day of the G7 Summit Spouses Program in Hiroshima, Japan
Last week, President Biden, who is also at the top, lifted a US ban on countries transferring US F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to carry out combat missions against Putin’s forces.
President Zelensky has been in talks with a number of European states that have stockpiles of F-16s, including Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands. Great Britain does not send its Tornado jets, deemed too complex to maintain.
But government sources said last night the UK would be the first to offer to train Ukrainian pilots to fly Western jets.
A source said the first pilots could arrive within two months.
They will undergo basic pilot training in the UK and be allowed to familiarize themselves with Western-standard jets. But then they will need further training on the operation of the F-16s.