Ukraine war high on agenda at G-7

Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Korea are participating as guests

PM Modi becomes the first Indian PM to visit Hiroshima after Nehru in 1957 

India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)


Hiroshima, Japan: World leaders landed Thursday for a Group of Seven meeting in Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, with Russia’s war in Ukraine expected to be high on the agenda.


“The crisis in Ukraine: I’m sure that’s what the conversation is going to start with,” said Matthew P. Goodman, senior vice president for economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida kicked off his summit diplomacy by meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden after his arrival at a nearby military base. The three-day gathering of leaders of the world’s wealthy democracies opens on Friday.


The U.S. president exited Air Force One and briefly greeted troops at nearby Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. The Japan-U.S. alliance is the “very foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Kishida told Biden in opening remarks.


The debate over raising the debt limit in the U.S., the world’s largest economy, has threatened to overshadow the G-7 talks. Biden plans to hurry back to Washington after the summit for debt negotiations, scrapping planned meetings in Papua New Guinea and Australia.


As G-7 attendees made their way to Hiroshima, Moscow unleashed yet another aerial attack on the Ukrainian capital. Russia fired 30 cruise missiles against different parts of Ukraine early Thursday in the latest nighttime test of Ukrainian air defenses, which shot down 29 of them, officials said.


One person was killed and two were wounded by a Russian missile that got through and struck an industrial building in the southern region of Odessa, according to Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the region’s military administration.


Amid the recently intensified Russian air assaults, China said its special envoy met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during talks in Kyiv earlier this week with Ukraine’s chief diplomat.


Beijing’s peace proposal has so far yielded no apparent breakthrough in the war. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday that the warring parties needed to “accumulate mutual trust” for progress to be made.


Meanwhile, in a bit of dueling diplomacy, Chinese President Xi Jinping is hosting the leaders of the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for a two-day summit in the Chinese city of Xi’an starting Thursday.

Image courtesy of AP