Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Sunday morning in Hiroshima, as G7 leaders pledged to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.
Canada and the G7 have also reaffirmed their intention to reduce their economic dependence on China while specifically calling on the country not to carry out “interference activities”.
MM. Trudeau and Zelensky hugged as they met and made short remarks to the media.
“I just have to say it’s so good to see you,” Trudeau said, adding that the G7 was as firmly on Ukraine’s side as Canada.
The prime minister said good conversations are also taking place with emerging economies on Ukraine.
” It is good to see you. I want to thank you, your government, and the people of Canada for supporting us,” Mr. Zelensky replied.
Canada and the other G7 countries reaffirmed on Saturday their intention to reduce their economic dependence on China, while directly calling on Beijing not to carry out “interference activities”.
Gathered for their annual summit in Hiroshima, Japan, G7 leaders issued a joint statement addressing the issue of foreign interference, at the request of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The document calls on China to “act in accordance with its obligations” under the treaties that govern diplomatic and consular relations, as well as “not to carry out interference activities aimed at undermining the security and safety of our communities, the integrity of our democratic institutions and our economic prosperity”.
Prior to the release of the document, a federal government official clarified that Mr. Trudeau had specifically raised the issue of interference with his counterparts in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States. Italy and Japan.
Leaders gathered in Hiroshima used their balancing act this weekend as they sought to make time for several major topics, including climate change, artificial intelligence, economic instability, nuclear weapons and, above all, the war in Ukraine.
Their statement was also published earlier than expected to allow a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who arrived in Hiroshima on Saturday afternoon, the day after the announcement of new G7 sanctions against Russia.
The statement also reaffirmed the support of the Group of Seven members for Ukraine “for as long as it takes”.
Nuclear security and interference
The leaders, who met in a city once decimated by an atomic bomb, also pledged to work towards a world without nuclear weapons.
Amid China’s growing influence, the leaders also signaled they plan to protect themselves by working together to counter economic coercion and oppose unfair practices.
Mr. Trudeau and his counterparts, however, nuanced in the document that they wanted to maintain “constructive” relations with China, which is the second largest economic power in the world.
“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, nor do we seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” they said. A growing China that abides by international rules would be of global interest.
“But at the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires risk reduction and diversification. We will take action, individually and collectively, to invest in our own economic dynamism. We will reduce overdependencies in our essential supply chains. »
Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin argued that China itself was a victim of economic coercion.
“If any country is to be criticized for its economic coercion, it should be the United States. The United States has abused the concept of national security, abused export controls, and taken discriminatory and unfair measures against foreign companies,” Wang said at a daily press briefing.
As part of its efforts to expand its alliances, Canada announced new investments to support people in emerging economies and developing countries.
The hundreds of millions of dollars announced by Ottawa will be used to fight climate change, food insecurity and women’s issues.
Mr. Trudeau is expected to hold a press conference on Sunday, at the end of the summit.