Zelensky’s trip to the G7: how is France maneuvering?

It’s a wink that should not be missed, a wink that even says it all. Volodymyr Zelensky landed this Saturday in Hiroshima, Japan, to meet the leaders of the G7, on board a plane belonging to the French Republic. It was on this same plane that he was first transported from Poland, to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, for the Arab League summitthen to Hiroshima, the first proof of France’s involvement in his visit.

A surprise intervention, planned in the last moments, during his visit to Paris, last weekend. President Emmanuel Macron had welcomed the Ukrainian warlord to the Élysée for a working dinner on Sunday May 14. It was during this interview that Volodymyr Zelensky would have expressed the wish to go to Japan after his tour in Europe.

Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today.

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 20, 2023

A request very well received by the tenant of the Élysée who believes, internally, that it is necessary to avoid the “fragmentation” of the world order, and to prepare a new summit for Ukraine. It is for these reasons that Emmanuel Macron made this aircraft of the French Republic available, at the request of the Ukrainians, so that he could discuss with the members of the Arab League and then with the countries invited to the G7 such as India and Brazil.

A working session on Ukraine at the initiative of France

Paris judges that it “must take all the means to tie non-aligned states to the cause of the defense of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, explains a diplomatic source. With the arrival of Volodymyr Zelensky, bilateral meetings were organized in expressin addition to that with Emmanuel Macron, with US President Joe Biden to discuss the delivery of F-16s, or with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

According to this same source, it was also France that insisted on having a working session on Ukraine during this summit in Hiroshima, even if the reverse would have been a surprise. “Our responsibility in the face of crises, as members of the G7, is to act through solidarity and dialogue to stem divisions (…) and support those like Ukraine who are fighting for their most legitimate rights,” said recalled on Twitter the head of state adding that he was in Japan “for the victory of Ukraine and the return of a peace based on law”.

Our responsibility in the face of crises, as members of the G7, is to act through solidarity and dialogue to stem divisions, remain exemplary on ecology, support those who, like Ukraine, are fighting for their most legitimate rights. . pic.twitter.com/QlwVqTxT9J

—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 19, 2023

Conclusions for the moment of this historic visit of Zelensky to the G7 thus allowed by France: F-16 deliveries authorized by the United States, a joint initiative to train Ukrainian pilots, a call for China “to put pressure on Russia”, and a first meeting with India since the start of the war in Ukraine that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never sentenced. A rather successful bet.

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