G-7 vows renewed support for Ukraine; US pledges air defense systems
WASHINGTON: Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations, meeting Tuesday in a crisis video conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, pledged they “will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes” after Russia continued its barrage of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities.
The G-7 leaders said in a statement after the virtual meeting that they had reassured Zelenskyy they are “undeterred and steadfast in our commitment to providing the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
They said Moscow’s “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime.”
“We will hold President [Vladimir] Putin and those responsible to account,” the G-7 leaders said. The G-7 comprises U.S., Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and Japan.
Amid Putin’s ongoing threats to use nuclear weapons, the G-7 reiterated it would direct “severe consequences” should Moscow use weapons of mass destruction but did not imply direct military involvement in Ukraine.
U.S. officials have said they have not seen indications that Putin has decided to use nuclear weapons and underscored there is no change in U.S. nuclear posture.
John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, told VOA in a briefing to reporters Tuesday that the U.S. is not considering deploying tactical nuclear weapons — smaller and less destructive than strategic nuclear weapons — in Ukraine.
“There’s absolutely zero interest from our side and from our allies and partners to see this war escalate into the use of weapons of mass destruction at all,” he said. (VOA)