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G-7 Latest: Zelenskiy Meets Leaders, Group Sharpens China Policy

(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived at the Group of Seven summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, holding talks with leaders as he sought to win support from neutral powers while building on the backing of the US and its allies as Ukraine readies a counter-offensive to Russia’s invasion.

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In formal sessions Saturday, the G-7 wealthy democracies focused on China’s role in the global economy, unveiling a new mechanism to tackle what they see as economic coercion and looking for ways to reduce risks to their supply chains from the Asian giant.

Leaders of the Quad nations — Australia, India, Japan and the US — held a meeting on the sidelines of the summit. The group is seen as a check on China’s assertiveness and a meeting originally planned for Australia following the G-7 was moved to Hiroshima after US President Joe Biden cut short his swing through the region to focus on debt ceiling negotiations with Republican lawmakers.

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(All times JST)

Ukraine Leader May Visit Hiroshima A-Bomb Museum (7:10 p.m.)

Japan is trying to arrange for Zelenskiy to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Sunday, national public broadcaster NHK reported. The facility was visited by G-7 leaders on Friday. It recounts the devastation of the nuclear attack on the city in 1945 and has taken on a greater symbolic role as Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine.

Zelenskiy may also give a speech in Hiroshima as part of his visit, NHK said.

Zelenskiy Meets Modi, Other Leaders (6:45 p.m.)

The Ukrainian president held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the leaders of middle power countries that have taken a more neutral stance over Russia’s invasion. It was their first in-person conversation since the war broke out in February 2022.

India has been a prime buyer of Russian oil and weapons, providing hard currency to Putin’s government at a time the G-7 is seeking to starve the Russian economy of funds. Zelenskiy has also met with several leaders from Europe, some of whom he saw only a week ago when he traveled through the region.

Zelenskiy Meets With India’s Modi on Sidelines Of G-7 Summit

Zelenskiy Arrives at Hiroshima Airport (3:44 p.m.)

Zelenskiy got off a French plane at Hiroshima Airport, and shook hands with a few dignitaries on the tarmac, live video images showed. He went into a vehicle that was part of a large motorcade making its way to the city under tight security.

The Ukrainian leader’s visit was not originally on the official schedule, with the host having previously said Zelenskiy was expected to deliver remarks through a video link.

Zelenskiy Arrives in Japan, Will Meet G-7 Summit Sideline Guests

G-7 Eyes China With Economic Coercion Plan (2:23 p.m.)

The G-7 launched a new joint mechanism to counter economic coercion, a measure aimed largely at perceived hostile actions by China. The leaders met on the issue and their statement afterward did not mention China by name, but described a rise in incidents of economic coercion as “disturbing.”

The joint mechanism will “address the growing and pernicious use of coercive economic measures to interfere in the sovereign affairs of other states,” the UK government said in a statement. It added that China had used its economic power to “coerce countries including Australia and Lithuania over political disputes.”

G-7 Eyes China With New Joint Effort Against Economic Coercion

G-7 Seeks Stable China Ties While ‘De-risking’ (2:14 p.m.)

G-7 leaders said they wanted “constructive and stable” relations with China even as they pushed ahead with steps to reduce dependence on Beijing for critical supply chains, according to the copy of the final communique seen by Bloomberg.

“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China nor do we seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” said the communique, which is set to be released at the G-7 summit being held through Sunday in Hiroshima.

G-7 Seeks Stable China Ties While ‘De-risking,’ Communique Says

Japan Pledges Visa Exemption, Healthcare Loan to Brazil (2:00 p.m.)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and told him that Tokyo would start procedures to exempt Brazilian citizens from visas for short-stays, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Kishida also announced a JPY 30 billion ($217 million) loan to support healthcare and other sectors in Brazil.

Kishida Talks Territorial Integrity With Modi, Jokowi (11:48 a.m.)

Kishida underscored ideas about the importance of maintaining sovereignty and territorial integrity under the UN Charter in his meetings with Modi and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, according to Japanese government statements. With Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, he exchanged opinions on Ukraine and the situation in East Asia, the Foreign Ministry said.

The meetings were held when Zelenskiy was en route to Hiroshima and after G-7 leaders released a statement on Friday in which they demanded Russia unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.

Kishida Meets Modi for Talks (8:29 a.m.)

Kishida met Modi to discuss trade and economic relations. Modi, one of several leaders from other nations invited to the G-7 gathering, is also due to speak with Zelenskiy in the Japanese city for their first in-person conversation since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden Eyes $375 Million Ukraine Military Package: Politico

Biden is set to announce a new aid package for Ukraine after meeting Zelenskiy at the G-7, Politico reported, citing three US and Ukrainian officials. The $375 million package will include more artillery shells, armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons, according to Politico.

China Warns Trudeau Off ‘Provocation’ (4:19 a.m.)

China’s ambassador to Canada urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to avoid further “provocation” as Canada weighs whether to launch a public inquiry into claims the Chinese government meddled in its elections.

Ambassador Cong Peiwu said Canada should consider returning to a more independent foreign policy rather than following the lead of the US, its neighbor and biggest trading partner. He also warned against US efforts to join with allies to oppose “economic coercion.”

China Warns Trudeau Off ‘Provocation’ After Diplomatic Spat

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