Zelenskyy joins G7 leaders virtually as group pledges to support Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'

The joint session came after the horrendous news of another Russian attack in Ukraine, as Europe Editor James Mates reports

The world's biggest economic powers have vowed to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion for "as long as it takes".

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed the urgency of helping his country in its fight against Russian forces in the coming month on a video call with the G7 on Monday via video as the group underscored their commitment to Ukraine with plans to pursue a price cap on Russian oil, raise tariffs on Russian goods and impose other new sanctions.

The Ukrainian leader discussed his strategy for the course of the war, which has transformed into a grinding conflict in the country's east.

The Group of Seven economic powers are set to commit themselves to supporting Ukraine for the long haul with the US preparing to announce the purchase of an advanced surface-to-air missile system for Kyiv.

EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said Mr Zelenskyy had updated the leaders on Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

"We admire his leadership and the Ukrainian people’s resilience. The G7 has shown remarkable unity. We agreed that we will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes."

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The leaders were finalising the deal to seek a price cap on Russian oil, raise tariffs on Russian goods and impose further sanctions on hundreds of officials and entities during their three-day summit in the German Alps, where they spoke by video link with Mr Zelenskyy.

Mr Biden is also announcing a $7.5 billion commitment to help Ukraine's government meet its expenses, as part of a drawdown of the $40 billion military and economic aid package he signed into law last month.

US defence national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Mr Zelenskyy’s top request was for further air defence systems, followed by economic support to assist his government in meeting its financial obligations. Mr Zelenskyy also told the leaders now is not a time for negotiation with Russia because he needs to be in stronger position first, according to a senior French diplomat.

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Mr Zelenskyy did not raise the issue of price caps, Mr Sullivan said, but called on G7 countries to work to stem Russian energy profits.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the summit’s host, said the G7 countries’ policies on Ukraine are “very much aligned,” and that they see the need to be both tough and cautious.

The new aid and efforts to exact punishment on Moscow from the G7 come as Mr Zelenskyy expressed concern the West has become fatigued by the cost of a war that is contributing to soaring energy costs and price hikes on essential goods around the globe.

G7 leaders are meeting in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Later, the leaders will be joined by the leaders of five democratic emerging economies - India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina - for a discussion on climate change, energy and other issues.

The war in Ukraine was already at the forefront of the G7 leaders' minds as they opened their summit at the secluded Schloss Elmau luxury hotel on Sunday - just as Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv for the first time in weeks.