Biden announces a new military aid package to Ukraine

Hiroshima (Japan) (BLAZETRENDS).- The US president, Joe Biden, announced this Sunday a new military aid package for Ukraine during a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, on the margins of the G7 .

Biden did not specify the amount of the aid, but said the new package includes weapons that the United States has already sent to Ukraine such as artillery and armored vehicles.

Immediately afterwards, Zelenski thanked him for the new military aid and for standing by his side, “shoulder to shoulder”, to face the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022.

Zelensky answers ambiguously to a question about whether Russia has taken Bakhmut

Volodimir Zelensky gave an ambiguous answer on Sunday to a question from a journalist about whether the Ukrainians were still fighting for control of Bakhmut or whether the city had passed into Russian hands, as the Russian Defense Ministry claims.

Zelensky’s statements caused a great uproar and caused his spokesman, Sergiy Nykyforov, to intercede to clarify them.

Zelenski met this Sunday with the US president, Joe Biden, on the margins of the G7 in Hiroshima, and at the end of his initial statements, a journalist asked him: “Mr. President, is Bakhmut still in Ukrainian hands? The Russians say they have taken Bakhmut.”

In response, Zelensky declared: “I think not.” And addressing the journalist who asked him, he added: “What you must understand is that there is nothing, they have destroyed all the buildings. For now, Bakhmut only exists in our hearts. There is nothing. Well, a lot of dead Russian soldiers, but they came for us.”

About an hour later, Zelensky’s spokesman told US media outlets including CNN and The New York Times that the Ukrainian leader wanted to deny that Russia had taken Bakhmut and that he meant that Russian troops were “not” in control of the city. .

In his statements with Biden, Zelenski downplayed the city’s strategic importance by assuring that “nothing” remains and that its buildings have been “destroyed.”

In addition, he expressed his gratitude to the Ukrainian soldiers who have fought against Russian troops for eight months in the city of Bakhmut, which before the war had about 80,000 inhabitants and is about 55 kilometers from the capital of the Donetsk region.

“Our defenders in Bakhmut did a strong job and, of course, we appreciate the great job they have done,” said the Ukrainian leader.

Zelensky’s new clarification

Later, at a press conference at a convention center located in the Hiroshima Peace Park, Volodimir Zelensky stated this Sunday that Bakhmut “is not occupied by Russia today”, in an appearance before the media after participate in the G7 summit in Hiroshima (Japan).

Zelensky said that he could not share exact information when it comes to military tactics, although he pointed out that Ukraine has “support” troops in Bakhmut and “witnesses” that show that the city “is not occupied by the Russian Federation”, in his press conference. in a convention center located in the Hiroshima Peace Park.

The Wagner Group, the spearhead of the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, announced on Saturday the seizure of the city of Bakhmut, and the Russian Ministry of Defense officially reported on Sunday the occupation of the city. However, the Ukrainian authorities have said in the last few hours that the fighting was continuing.

The Russian Ministry of Defense officially reports the capture of Bakhmut

At the start of his meeting with Biden, Zelensky stated that Ukraine “has a strong position on the battlefield” and expectations remain that the Ukrainian armed forces will soon launch a counter-offensive to retake Russian-occupied regions.

The battle for control of Bakhmut was one of the bloodiest of the war in Ukraine and had taken on symbolic importance for both sides, who had lost a large number of soldiers in that city.

The Ukrainian leader, who traveled to Hiroshima the day before, attends this first session of the summit dedicated specifically to discussing the situation on the ground in Ukraine and the measures of the Group of Seven to intensify its shipments of arms and equipment such as fighters , plus financial and other assistance.

Zelensky calls for more support from democracies around the world at the G7 summit

Zelensky today called for more support from democratic countries around the world against the Russian invasion, during the meeting of G7 leaders, which was also attended by the leaders of India, Brazil and Indonesia, among other nations.

“Together with all our allies and partners, we have reached such a level of cooperation that ensures that democracy, international law and freedom are respected,” Zelensky said in a message distributed on social networks after attending the meetings that concluded on Sunday. in Hiroshima (Japan).

“There have been attempts to ignore what we value. But now that is impossible. Our power is growing,” said Zelenski, who added that “anyone who carries out an aggression against a democratic country has seen what response is going to be found.”

However, he added that “democracy needs more”, and in particular called for “clear global leadership of democracy”.

Zelensky also presented his peace plan during the meetings “which guarantees each of the points that are supported by United Nations resolutions, and in a way” that everyone in the world can choose the path they will follow.
This program is finding support “from Japan to the Arab countries, from Europe to Latin America,” he said.

Bilateral meetings

The day before, Zelensky held bilateral meetings focused on these issues with the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the European institutions, and he also plans to hold meetings with the US president and the Japanese leader within the framework of the summit. and host of the summit.

“We coordinated our positions and prepared the next steps. On Defense: weapons, air defense, fighters, ”said the Ukrainian leader in a video posted on social networks the day before, in which he summarized the content of his first confrontations with G7 leaders.

Zelensky also addressed in these meetings “formulas for peace and long-term support for Ukraine” and “financing and economy”, according to what he said.

Before the start of the session with the G7 leaders, Zelensky also had a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which the two discussed military aid, the situation at the front and the peace proposals made by Kiev, detailed the Ukrainian leader on Twitter.

More weapons for kyiv

One of the most relevant news regarding military aid that has emerged during the summit is Washington’s approval for other G7 partners to provide US-made F-16 fighters to Kiev troops and train their pilots to handle these aircraft. that can make a difference in the Ukrainian skies.

The EU countries (of which Germany, France and Italy are represented in the G7) are discussing internally how and when to proceed with the shipment of fighters of this type and potentially others of European manufacture, in parallel to another “international coalition” announced recently by the United Kingdom and several member states with the same objective.

Biden also plans to announce a new military aid package to Ukraine soon, a senior US official told BLAZETRENDS, declining to provide further details.

The Political newspaper, citing US officials, reports that the package will be worth 375 million dollars and will include weapons that the United States has already sent to Ukraine in the past such as artillery shells, armored vehicles and high-mobility artillery rockets ( Himars).

Biden invites Yoon and Kishida to a trilateral meeting in the United States

US President Joe Biden invited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to a trilateral meeting in the United States on Sunday, although there is no specific date yet.

The US president made that invitation during another meeting that the three leaders held on the sidelines of the G7 summit that is being held in the Japanese city of Hiroshima and that will conclude this Sunday after three days of meetings.

A senior US official explained to the press that Biden extended the invitation to Yoon and Kishida during that face-off in Hiroshima and now the teams of the three leaders will try to determine the best date for the visit to the United States.

In addition, according to the White House, during their meeting today, Biden praised the “courageous work” of Yoon and Kishida to improve their bilateral relations, marked by the brutal Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula between 1910 and 1945.

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