Biden at G7 announces $375 million new US military aid to fortify Ukraine against Russia

Package will include ammunition, artillery and armoured vehicles

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US President Joe Biden unveiled on Sunday a new military aid package of as much as $375 million for Ukraine, assuring President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the US was doing all it could to strengthen Ukraine's defence in its war with Russia.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit, Mr Biden said the military aid package included ammunition, artillery and armoured vehicles.

The aid comes days after Mr Biden allowed allies to supply advanced F-16 jets to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Mr Zelenskyy appeared to confirm the loss of the city of Bakhmut to Russia on Sunday.

“I think no,” he said, when asked if the city remained in Kyiv's control, Reuters reported.

“For today, it is only in our hearts.”

His spokesman, though, later denied Mr Zelenskyy had confirmed the fall of Bakhmut to Russian troops.

"The president denied the capture of Bakhmut," spokesman Sergiy Nykyforov said on Facebook.

Addressing the summit, Mr Zelenskyy told the leaders that Kyiv's plan to end Russia's war in Ukraine is “an obvious expression of rationality”.

“We're united by one more principle – rationality,” he said in the address posted on the President's website. “We always act practically, protecting our values. And the Ukrainian peace formula is an obvious expression of rationality. I thank you for supporting our formula.”

On the last day of the summit in the historic city of Hiroshima, the G7 nations committed to stand by Ukraine for the long haul.

They gave Mr Zelenskyy a chance to win over countries such as Brazil and India, who have so far refrained from outright condemnation of Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it was “significant” that the G7 nations showed solidarity in their intention to uphold international law and order.

He spoke as this year's G7 chair to close off the three-day summit held in his home constituency of Hiroshima.

Earlier, France's President Emmanuel Macron said the summit in Japan was an opportunity to convince emerging nations including India and Brazil to join efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

“This war isn't just European,” Mr Macron said in Hiroshima. “It's the opportunity to discuss, exchange and convince partners of this enlarged G7 … India, Brazil, Indonesia and several other countries from the south, who have sometimes not exchanged as much with Ukraine.”

Mr Macron's comments came a day after he called the surprise visit by Mr Zelenskyy, who used a French government plane to land in the Japanese city, a “game changer”.

G7 decisions seek to 'contain' Russia and China, says Lavrov

G7 decisions seek to 'contain' Russia and China, says Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticised the summit for aiming to isolate both China and Russia.

“The task has been set loudly and openly: to defeat Russia on the battlefield, but not to stop there, but to eliminate it as a geopolitical competitor,” he said. “Look at the decisions that are now being discussed and adopted in Hiroshima, at the G7 summit, and which are aimed at the double containment of Russia and China.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said “gone are the days when a handful of western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and manipulate global affairs.

“We urge G7 members to … focus on addressing the various issues they have at home, stop ganging up to form exclusive blocs, stop containing and bludgeoning other countries.”

Updated: May 21, 2023, 11:31 AM