Russian President Vladimir Putin is counting on the “collapse” of Western support for Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders on Wednesday, reporting that the Russian army had “significantly increased pressure” on the front.
“Russia only hopes for one thing: that the unity of the free world collapses next year. Russia believes that America and Europe will show weakness and will not maintain their support for Ukraine at the appropriate level,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a teleconference between the leaders of the G7 countries. .
While he admitted that Russian forces were on the offensive on the front, Mr. Zelensky assured that Ukrainian soldiers were “resisting attacks”.
“We maintain important bridgeheads” in several places on the front line and “we are preparing for the next steps,” he said.
After the failure of the Ukrainian army’s major summer counter-offensive, which failed to break through the Russian defenses, it was Moscow’s troops who took back the initiative, particularly in Adviïvka, an industrial city in the east they are trying to encircle.
Western military and financial aid to Ukraine, crucial for its war effort, is increasingly called into question, becoming an object of political disputes both in the United States and in Europe.
Mr. Zelensky thus estimated on Wednesday that his country must “win the battle of motivation” at home and abroad. “The free world has a vital need to maintain its unity,” he pleaded before the G7.
He also said he hoped that the European Union “will keep its promise to Ukraine”, whose desire to join the EU must in particular be discussed during a summit in mid-December.
The G7 leaders, for their part, have committed to restricting their imports of diamonds from Russia, which is one of the world’s largest producers, from January 2024.
They also promised to “strengthen respect for and application of the policy of capping Russian oil prices” and threatened economic reprisals against countries facilitating the evasion of sanctions by Moscow.
“We reiterate our call on third parties to immediately stop providing material support for Russia’s aggression, otherwise they will have to pay a high price,” the G7 launched in a joint G7 statement.
These countries also assured that their support for Ukraine would “never” weaken.