This is another lesson from the war in Ukraine, which should dominate the debates of the G7 summit, from Sunday June 26 to Tuesday June 28, in Elmau, in the Bavarian Alps. The conflict triggered by Vladimir Putin’s Russia is testing, over the days, the cohesion of the seven most industrialized Western countries, and confirms the limit of their influence in the world.
Although the G7 plays a central role in coordinating the sanctions imposed on Russia and in the aid provided to kyiv, sometimes at the cost of hushed debates, it has to come to terms with the many Asian, African and Latin American countries which refuse to choose sides and are worried about the consequences of the return of war to the European continent. A conflict often considered by these States as “regional”, at the risk of widening the gap between “the West and the rest” of the planet.
New remote interview with Volodymyr Zelensky
The choreography of the summit, organized under the aegis of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – at the head of the G7 this year – in the mountainous setting of Elmau Castle, not far from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, gives an idea of the efforts made in this direction by Westerners. Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron, Mario Draghi, Boris Johnson, the Japanese Fumio Kishida and the Canadian Justin Trudeau – not to mention the leaders of the European Commission and Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel – had to first have the opportunity , from Sunday at midday, to take stock of the situation in Ukraine, where the fighting has been going on for more than four months. As a prelude, the French head of state spoke bilaterally with the British prime minister, who wants to be kyiv’s “best ally” on the continent, and never stops crossing swords with the Twenty- Seven on Brexit.
The members of the G7 have already spoken four times at the summit since the start of hostilities, starting on February 24, the day when Russian forces descended on Ukraine. They are expected to meet again remotely on Monday morning with Volodymyr Zelensky, their Ukrainian counterpart. The objective is to close ranks within the Western camp, while differences may appear, the longer the conflict lasts, on the objectives of the support given to kyiv against Russian aggression. And on the modalities of a possible ceasefire, inaccessible to date due to the intensity of the fighting in the Donbass, where Moscow has just taken control of the city of Sievierodonetsk.
The leaders of the G7 will also have to share the spotlight with a host of leaders from “non-aligned” countries invited for the occasion. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as well as the Presidents of Senegal, Macky Sall, of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, of Argentina, Alberto Angel Fernandez, and of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (also at the head of the G20 ), will take part in various working sessions on Monday.
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