Ahead of his anticipated appearance at the G7 summit in Japan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticized certain Arab leaders for ignoring Russia’s aggression. The Ukrainian leader is scheduled to arrive in Hiroshima on Sunday, where he intends to solicit additional military assistance for a forthcoming counter-strike.
On Friday, Zelensky participated in an Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia. Among all Arab League members, only Syria has publicly backed Russia’s incursion. The remaining nations strive to uphold amicable ties with Moscow.
“Regrettably, some individuals globally and within this assembly are overlooking the POW cages and unlawful annexations,” Zelensky expressed. “I am here so that everyone can honestly acknowledge what’s happening, regardless of Russia’s attempts to manipulate the situation; there should still be sovereignty.”
Addressing the leaders gathered in Jeddah, Zelensky declared that Ukraine is battling colonizers and imperialists, seemingly drawing parallels to the Arab world’s historical experience with invasions and occupations.
The host country, Saudi Arabia, has been walking a tightrope regarding the conflict. While they endorsed a UN resolution demanding Russia’s troop withdrawal and pledged $400m in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, they have refrained from placing sanctions on Russia, choosing instead to position themselves as neutral observers.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reiterated his proposition for Saudi Arabia to facilitate peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv during the summit. Meanwhile, Syria, recently reinstated to the Arab League, urged for an opportunity for the region to reorient itself without external meddling, as stated by its leader Bashar al-Assad.
Zelensky also criticized Iran, a non-Arab League member, accusing it of supplying Shahed drones to Russia, a claim Iran denies.
Zelensky’s next destination from Saudi Arabia is the G7 summit, where he will engage with US President Joe Biden. A spokesperson from Zelensky’s office informed Ukrainian media that the two leaders will have a meeting in Japan in the coming days.
The G7 summit began on Friday with a reinforced condemnation of Russia and the declaration of additional sanctions. The G7 comprises the wealthiest democracies globally, including the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, and Japan. This year, eight other countries, including Australia and India, have received invitations.