Joe Biden mentioned the supply of F-16 jets to Ukraine represents a “colossal danger” to Russia as he directed the Kremlin’s personal phrases again at Vladimir Putin.
On Sunday, leaders of the G7 richest democracies mentioned they might not again down from supporting Ukraine, after the US accepted the doable switch of Western jets.
When Mr Biden was requested on the summit in Hiroshima whether or not he agreed with Russia’s assertion that supplying F-16s is a “colossal danger”, he replied: “It’s, for them.”
Earlier within the day, the US president mentioned Volodymyr Zelensky, his Ukrainian counterpart, has given Washington a “flat assurance” that F-16 fighters won’t assault Russian soil.
The US offer of F-16s constitutes a significant upgrade from Kyiv’s Chilly Conflict-era fleet for MiGs and Sukhois however some warned their use may forged into query the defensive nature of weapons the West is now offering to the war-torn nation.
“I’ve a flat assurance from Zelensky that they won’t use it to go on and transfer onto Russian geographic territory, however wherever Russian troops are inside Ukraine and the world, they might be capable of do this,” Mr Biden, the US president, advised reporters at the G7 summit in Hiroshima.
F-16s, that are made by Lockheed Martin within the US, have lengthy been on the prime of Mr Zelensky’s want checklist from the West. A small variety of European international locations have them, together with the Netherlands which is keen to export some to Ukraine, whereas the UK has mentioned it may assist with coaching.
Nonetheless, the US has to approve any such third-party switch to Ukraine due to the jets’ delicate know-how. Mr Biden had been initially unwilling to allow European countries to re-export them to Ukraine.
The assurances got here as Mr Zelensky secured extra arms, munitions and “unwavering” diplomatic help from allies after two days of talks within the Japanese metropolis.
The White Home unveiled a $375 million (£301m) bundle of US support that features ammunition for Himar rocket launchers, artillery shells, anti-tank guided missiles and thermal imaging methods.
“We won’t waver, Putin won’t break our resolve as he thought he may,” mentioned Mr Biden. “We now have Ukraine’s again and we’re not going anyplace.”
The West faces “colossal dangers” if it delivers F-16s to Ukraine, Russia’s foreign ministry mentioned regarding the obvious breakthrough.
Mr Zelensky’s unannounced journey to Japan has been a serious diplomatic coup, placing his nation and Russia’s invasion firmly on the prime of the agenda.
In one other breakthrough, Mr Zelensky met on the sidelines of the summit with Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, their first face-to-face talks for the reason that conflict. He briefed him on Ukraine’s peace plan, which requires the withdrawal of Russian troops from the nation earlier than any negotiations.
India, the world’s largest democracy and a serious purchaser of Russian arms and oil, has prevented outright condemnation of Russia’s invasion.
Mr Modi advised Mr Zelensky: “I perceive your ache and the ache of Ukrainian residents very nicely. I can guarantee you that to resolve this India and, me personally, will do no matter we are able to do.”
West ‘encouraging the conflict’
Nonetheless, Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has accused the West of “encouraging the conflict”, didn’t meet his Ukrainian counterpart.
Whereas Mr Lula condemned the “violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and known as for dialogue in group discussions, he additionally took goal at members of the UN Safety Council with one official current describing the trade as “frank”.
“Everlasting members proceed the lengthy custom of waging unauthorised wars, whether or not in pursuit of territorial enlargement or in pursuit of regime change,” an obvious reference to the US-led Iraq Conflict.
Mr Zelensky mentioned scheduling conflicts had prevented the pair from assembly. Requested if he was disillusioned to overlook talks with Mr Lula, he replied: “I feel he’s disillusioned.”
General, Mr Zelensky secured agency backing for key parts of his 10-point peace plan, centred on the necessity for a Russian withdrawal.
Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, mentioned the message from Ukraine and its allies was clear: “Russia should withdraw troops”. Any peace plan, he mentioned, “cannot merely be linked to a freeze of the battle”.
Nonetheless, Russia accused G7 leaders of turning the summit right into a “propaganda present” for Ukraine.
“The leaders of the G7 dropped at their assembly the ringleader of the Kyiv regime they management and turned the Hiroshima occasion right into a propaganda present,” mentioned the Russian international ministry.
The West’s decline in world affect “is forcing the members of this physique to place all their efforts into whipping up anti-Russian and anti-Chinese language hysteria”, it mentioned.