By Anthony Marcus, correspondent for Eurasia Business News, May 21, 2023

During their summit in Hiroshima, Japan, the leaders of the G7 countries called on China to put pressure on Russia to stop its military operation in Ukraine. The G7 stands for a “just and lasting peace,” including through “direct negotiations with Ukraine.” The organization also called on Iran not to provide military assistance to Russia and not to transfer weapons.

We call on China to put pressure on Russia to stop its military operation and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine,” the G7 leaders said in a joint statement (quoted by Associated Press). They also stressed that they seek a “constructive and stable relationship” with Beijing, “recognizing the importance of frank engagement with China and expressing our concerns to it directly.”

In addition, the G7 countries called on Iran to abandon its support for Russia in the Ukrainian conflict and not to transfer any weapons to Moscow. “Iran must stop supporting the war of aggression against Ukraine,” the communiqué says.

The G7 countries made a similar appeal to Beijing in June 2022. Washington claimed that the Chinese army supports the Russian Federation and together they are interested in “undermining the positions of the United States and the West.” In February 2023, the Chinese Foreign Ministry presented a 12-point plan to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. State Department was skeptical.

On Friday, May 19, the G7 summit began in Hiroshima, to last until May 21. On the first day, the G7 leaders adopted a joint statement entirely dedicated to the Ukrainian conflict. They again promised to help Ukraine “as long as it takes“, to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation and deprive it of its sources of income. In addition, they called on Moscow to “stop aggression and withdraw troops and military equipment from the entire internationally recognized territory of Ukraine.” And although there were many global issues on the agenda of the meeting, and Ukraine was only one of the items, it is obvious that it was a key topic of discussion. Moreover, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended the summit.

The G7 summit ended on May 21, the same day when the Kremlin claimed that its military units have established control over Artemovsk, called “Bakhmut” in Russian. The battle lasted 224 days and, according to experts, became one of the longest and bloodiest in Europe since the World War II (1939-1945). The Russian Ministry of Defence announced that the city was liberated by the “Wagnerians” with the “support of artillery and aviation of the Southern Group of Forces.”

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