France's Macron urges India and Brazil at G7 to join effort to end war in Ukraine

The two countries have maintained economic and political relations with Moscow

Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks with Emmanuel Macron during the G7 summit in Hiroshima on Sunday. AFP
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France's President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday the G7 summit in Japan is 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 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who used a French government plane to land in the Japanese city, a “game changer”.

Brazil and India, the two big nations of the non-aligned “Global South” of low- and middle-income countries, are attending the G7 summit.

They have maintained economic and political relations with Moscow, frustrating western isolation efforts.

Mr Macron praised the trip as “a way to build peace”, calling it an “honour” to have supplied the plane that carried the Ukrainian leader to Hiroshima, Reuters reported.

Mr Zelenskyy is expected to plead for diplomatic and military support in Hiroshima on Sunday as he addresses the G7 allies and the nations that so far declined to condemn Russia's attack.

He will later address the leaders of India, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia, AFP reported.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, who has accused the West of “encouraging the war”, has yet to confirm if he will meet his Ukrainian counterpart.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he understood Mr Zelenskyy's pain “and the pain of Ukrainian citizens”.

“I can assure you that to resolve this India and, me personally, will do whatever we can do,” he said.

Zelenskyy arrives in Japan for G7 summit

Zelenskyy arrives in Japan for G7 summit

Mr Zelenskyy said he believed India would “participate in the restoration of the rules-based international order that all free nations clearly need”.

Mr Macron said the Hiroshima summit has been one of unity, notably for Ukraine, and aimed to build a framework for a peace that must be durable, not based on a ceasefire that would create a frozen conflict, and must adhere to international law.

He said Mr Zelenskyy would explain the situation on the ground, while the G7 – the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – would stress the fundamentals of the international order and the importance of keeping to the UN charter.

“This allows Zelenskyy to express himself to powers of the world who at times are exposed to just one discourse. And I say that just a few weeks before a Brics summit,” Mr Macron said, referring to the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He declined to comment on events in Ukraine's smashed eastern city of Bakhmut, the focus of the fighting for months, where Russia said on Saturday it was now in control.

“I will remain prudent. This battle, which started in December, shows the difficulty with which the Russians have to advance,” Mr Macron said.

Updated: May 21, 2023, 5:16 AM