Russia-Ukraine Conflict: G7 may mark first anniversary of war with special summit

Conflito Rússia – Ucrânia: G7 poderá assinalar primeiro aniversário da guerra com cimeira especial

Japan is expected to convene a G7 summit for February 24, the first anniversary of Russia's war against Ukraine, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported today, quoted by Lusa.

The Asian country holds this year the rotating presidency of the group of the seven most developed economies in the world, in which it has as partners six NATO members: the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, plus the European Union (EU).

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ends today a visit to Japan, after having been to South Korea, aimed at strengthening the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's ties with the two Asian partners.

Japanese government sources told Kyodo that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida intends to invite Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to participate in the extraordinary summit, which will be held by videoconference.

Japan will host the annual G7 summit in late May in Hiroshima, a city destroyed by US atomic bombs in 1945 at the end of World War II, along with Nagasaki.

From the Hiroshima summit, Japan hopes that a message of unity against Russia's aggression against its neighboring country will come out, Kyodo added, according to Spanish news agency EFE.

The announcement of the possible February 24 special meeting comes at a time of growing speculation that Russia will launch a full-scale attack on Ukraine in the spring, the Japanese news agency noted.

If it comes to pass, the special G7 summit would be the first organized by Kishida.

A similar meeting was held on February 24, 2022, at which G7 leaders agreed to impose punitive economic sanctions on Russia, Kyodo recalled.

The country that chairs the G7 is responsible for organizing and hosting the annual meeting of the leaders of the countries that make up the group, from which Russia was excluded in 2014 for annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Since invading Ukraine on February 24 last year, Russia has annexed four more regions of the neighboring country: Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporijia.

The Ukrainian authorities and the generality of the international community do not recognize Russian sovereignty in the annexed regions.

Russia chaired the then G8 in 2006, and Vladimir Putin, who remains the country's president, hosted that year's summit in St. Petersburg.

Before that, in 1997, the then Russian leader, Boris Yeltsin, hosted a special G7 meeting in Moscow on nuclear safety.

The group's first summit as G8 took place in Denver, Colorado, in 1998, under President Bill Clinton.

The war in Ukraine also dominated the 48th G7 summit in 2022, held in Germany, the country that preceded Japan in the rotating presidency of the group.

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