The G7: “Moscow stop the aggression and pay the damages”. Support for the Zelensky plan


By John

Russia must “end the aggression” of Ukraine and must “pay for the damage it has caused.” The G7 leaders meeting in Borgo Egnazia reiterate in the final communiqué of the summit their commitment to supporting Kiev “for as long as necessary”, clarifying once again that it is up to Moscow to take a step back.

A position that is also expressed with an endorsement of Volodymyr Zelensky's so-called Peace Formula, which will be discussed at the Conference in Switzerland tomorrow and Saturday: this is the scheme from which to start to imagine the end of the conflict, and not the proposal put on the table in the last hours by Vladimir Putin, which in fact would be considered a surrender of the country victim of the invasion.

In the two-day summit in Puglia chaired by Giorgia Meloni, Zelensky achieved a lot. The Ukrainian president has signed two ten-year security agreements with Japan and above all with the United States, considered by Kiev as a door to integration into NATO.

Borgo Egnazia also sanctioned the renewed political commitment of the main partners of NATO and Japan. Their support to Kiev will be “unshakable” from a “military, budgetary, humanitarian and reconstruction” point of view, “in the short and long term”.

So weapons, aid for civilians and a huge amount of money: 50 billion dollars in the form of a loan that will be guaranteed by the profits of Russian assets frozen in Western (especially European) banks.

As for Moscow, the Big 7 have called for its responsibility for the damage inflicted on Ukraine, which according to the World Bank now exceeds 486 billion dollars: repaying it is a “clear” obligation, sanctioned by “international law”. For the leaders gathered in Puglia, guaranteeing Kiev the means to resist the invasion is the only way to achieve a “just peace”.

Nothing to do with that proposed by Putin, according to which Kiev should renounce the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson (annexed by Russia) and should undertake not to join NATO.

In this sense, the Borgo Egnazia summit «welcomed the summit on peace in Ukraine scheduled for 15 and 16 June in Switzerland», ensuring the commitment «to obtain the widest possible international support for the principles and key objectives of the Formula of President Zelensky”, starting from “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

The conference scheduled on Lake Lucerne, which opens tomorrow, does not have the ambition of outlining the terms of an overall peace, also because Moscow was not invited and does not recognize the legitimacy of the event (and there will not even be Putin's ally China). The objective of Zelensky, who arrived in Switzerland in the evening, is to create consensus around some key issues such as nuclear safety, food safety (after the Russian blockade on exports in the Black Sea) and the return of Ukrainian children abducted by Russians.

And more generally, Kiev aims to convince the countries that have remained neutral until now (in the so-called southern hemisphere) to put pressure on the Kremlin to cease hostilities. Representatives of around a hundred countries will participate in the work (including Italy, with the Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, while the presence of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is still uncertain). Kiev also relies heavily on the contribution of the Holy See: Zelensky underlined this when meeting Pope Bergoglio on the sidelines of the G7 in Puglia.