Ukraine asks G7 to step up arms supply, pressure on Russia

Weissenhaus (Germany): Ukraine's foreign minister on Friday said his country remains willing to engage in diplomatic talks with Russia to unblock grain supplies and to achieve a political solution to the war in Ukraine but won't accept ultimatums from Moscow.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the Ukrainian government had received no positive feedback from Russia, which he alleged prefers wars to talks .

We are ready to talk, but we are ready for a meaningful conversation based on mutual respect, not on the Russian ultimatums thrown on the table, Kuleba told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major economies.

Kuleba said his talks with G-7 counterparts had been helpful, fruitful, very honest and result-oriented . He praised them for the financial and military support they have so far provided to Ukraine.

But he urged Ukraine's supporters to supply more weapons, including multiple launch rocket systems and military planes, and to put further pressure on Russia's economy by stepping up sanctions and following Canada's lead in seizing Russian sovereign assets to pay for rebuilding Ukraine.

The European Union's foreign affairs chief announced plans to give Ukraine another 500 million euros (USD 520 million) to buy heavy weapons to fend off the Russian invasion.

We will provide a new tranche of 500 more millions to support the military of Ukraine, Josep Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign policy, said at the G-7 meeting in Weissenhaus, on Germany's Baltic Sea coast.

The funds would be allocated for the purchase of heavy weapons and take the EU's total financial support for Ukraine to 2 billion euros (USD 2.1 billion), he added.

EU diplomats cautioned that any disbursement requires backing from all of the bloc's 27 members.

Some countries are expressing misgivings, and approval is unlikely before

next week.

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