Zelensky Calls Out Arab Leaders for Ignoring War Ahead of Japan Trip

Ukraine confirmed that Mr. Zelensky would meet President Biden in the “next few days”.

Zelensky attended the Arab League Summit in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Only Syria, a member of the Arab League, has publicly supported Russia’s invasion. Other nations have tried to maintain good relations.

“Unfortunately, some people in the world as well as here amongst you turn a blind eye to those [prisoner-of-war] cages or illegal annexations,” stated Mr. Zelensky.

“I am here to ensure that no matter how much the Russians attempt to influence, there will still be an independent nation.”

Zelensky also told the assembled leaders in Jeddah that his country was defending itself from colonisers and imperialists, appearing to invoke the Arab world’s own history of invasion and occupation.

Saudi Arabia, the host nation, has taken a very delicate stance on this conflict. On the one hand, it supported a UN Resolution calling on Russia to withdraw its troops and pledged $400m of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. But on the other, it refused to impose sanctions on Russia. It preferred to be neutral in the conflict.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has renewed his offer to Saudi Arabia that it will mediate between Moscow and Kyiv and end the fighting during the summit.

Syria has just recently been readmitted into the Arab League – its leader Bashar Al-Assad said at the summit that the region had a historic chance to reshape without foreign interference.

Zelensky has also targeted Iran, a country that is not a part of the Arab League and which supplies Shahed drones for Russia. Iran denies providing drones to the conflict.

The Ukrainian leader will travel from Saudi Arabia to the G7 Summit in Chicago. He will meet with US President Joe Biden.

The office of Zelensky told Ukrainian media that the two men will meet “in the coming days” in Japan.

The summit began on Friday, with a new condemnation of Russia as well as an announcement of additional sanctions.

Seven nations from around the globe, including the US, UK (France), Germany, Canada, Japan, and Italy, make up the group. Eight other countries, including Australia and India, have been invited this year.

Since the beginning of the war in February 2022, Zelensky will have traveled the furthest from Kyiv.

In the last few days, Mr Zelensky visited Italy, Germany France, and the UK where he made promises of military assistance. He continues to press allies to supply advanced fighter jets for Ukraine but no country has yet committed to providing them directly.

He will likely try to convince more conservative leaders, like the Japanese PM Fumio Kishhida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to provide assistance once he arrives in Hiroshima.

John Kirton, the director of G7 Research Group, stated that by showing up personally, he can ensure that he doesn’t leave empty-handed and will return to Kyiv with all the weapons he desires, including the promise of lethal Japanese weapons.

Although Japan has shown great sympathy for Ukraine, its strict military laws mean that they have only provided non-lethal defense equipment so far.

On Friday morning, Mr. Kishida welcomed the G7 leaders at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. They laid wreaths in honor of those who lost their lives during the US atomic attack that hastened World War Two’s end.

The first day of the summit ended with a declaration in which the member countries promised “new steps” in order to end the war in Ukraine, and further sanctions in order to “increase costs for Russia and those supporting its war effort”.

The Russians said that they would “starve Russia” of G7 technology and industrial equipment to support its war machine and reduce the revenue Russia receives from diamond and energy sales.

Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, said that the UK will sanction the Russian diamond trade and target additional people and companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against 500 US citizens including former US president Barack Obama in response to the US sanctions it called “anti-Russian”.

On Sunday, the G7 summit will end with a communiqué on the conflict in Ukraine.