G7 Summit: Leaders Show Determination to Support Ukraine

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has become prolonged, and support for Ukraine must not ultimately be a temporary effort.

It is highly significant that the Group of Seven advanced nations have established a framework for sustained support.

A G7 summit was held in Italy. It was only natural that support measures for Ukraine were discussed as the most important topic.

The G7 leaders agreed to establish a new fund to support Ukraine.

Under the agreement, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada will first provide loans to the fund, which will then be used for Ukraine’s reconstruction and military buildup. Ukraine will not be obligated to repay the loans; the proceeds from investments made with the Russian central bank’s frozen assets, which are managed by the countries of the European Union, will be used to repay the loans.

The administrations of some Western countries are facing harsh criticism due to “aid fatigue” for Ukraine and inflation. The establishment of the fund is intended to avoid a situation in which aid would be delayed in the future due to the domestic circumstances in certain countries.

Germany, France and Italy will not be directly involved in the fund for the time being, but they plan to provide financial assistance through the EU. Japanese loans will be kept in separate accounts within the fund to ensure that they are not used for military purposes.

Russia has reacted against the latest G7 decision, suggesting it will retaliate.

However, it is only natural that Russia, which has destroyed the land of Ukraine and taken many lives, should be held responsible for providing compensation for the damage and suffering. The G7, which has touted the importance of the rule of law, must unite to support Ukraine and ensure Russia’s aggression ends in failure at any cost.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also attended the summit.

During his meeting with Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signed a bilateral document with the Ukraine leader stipulating cooperation in the provision of nonlethal equipment and the removal of land mines, among other measures. Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude, saying that Japan’s support has significantly helped Ukraine move closer to peace.

Japan is limited in its direct military assistance. At the same time, it has experienced many disasters and has accumulated knowledge of recovery and reconstruction. Japan should continue to provide assistance by taking advantage of these unique strengths.

The G7 also agreed to fully support the ceasefire proposal presented by the United States regarding the fighting between the Israeli military and the Islamist group Hamas.

The group called on Israel to refrain from conducting military operations in Rafah, the southernmost part of the Palestinian territory of Gaza, to which many displaced people have fled.

Israel’s stance of not hesitating to take the lives of Gaza residents cannot be overlooked. Japan should also step up its efforts to urge Israel not to do so.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 16, 2024)