Zelenskiy courts G7 support against Russia

STORY: Ukraine's president embraced G7 leaders on Saturday (May 20) as he brought his call for support against Russia to Japan.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy touched down for the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima at a time when his request for Ukraine to be supplied with F-16 fighter jets appears to have made progress.

On Friday (May 19), White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said President Joe Biden had endorsed training Ukrainian pilots to fly the jets - which Kyiv says are more effective that then Soviet-era fighters it still uses.

"We will be here to the very end."

During talks with French president Emmanuel Macron, Zelenskiy welcomed the move.

"And I want to thank you and all the partners about this decision, about training mission, which are really, really very, very important."

The TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko on Saturday as saying that Western countries would be running "colossal risks" if they supplied Ukraine with F-16s.

Leaders of the G7 - that's the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada - are grappling with the challenges posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine - which Moscow calls a "special military operation".

There are also tensions with China - notably over economic security and self-ruled Taiwan.

Worried by the outsized role China now plays in supply chains, the G7 issued a communique that set out a common strategy towards future dealings with the world's second-largest economy.

It called on Beijing to press Russia to, quote, "stop its military aggression and immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine".

The leaders also warned that countries attempting to use trade as a weapon would face "consequences".

In addition to bilateral talks with G7 leaders, Zelenskiy is also meetings the leaders of India and Brazil.

Those two countries, who form the BRIC grouping with Russia and China, have not yet distanced themselves from Moscow.