PM rallies G7 to keep up the fight against Russia's invasion

World leaders agree to new ‘surge’ of support to defeat Vladimir Putin – as Downing Street says Kremlin was ‘stupid’ to bomb Kyiv while G7 met as it ‘stiffened the resolve’ to remain united just when Macron was wavering

  • Boris Johnson warned ‘backing down’ on Russia would be ‘mistake’ at G7 as Putin’s missiles’ ‘stupidly’ hit Kyiv 
  • Emmanuel Macron was ‘wavering’ but committed to Ukraine as leaders became more united against Russia
  • Downing Street said there is a risk ‘enduring instability’ could be created if Putin was not curtailed now 
  • G7 leaders also joked about the Russian president’s fondness of being photographed without a shirt on
  • PM and Germany’s Olaf Scholz will argue for biofuel crops swap for food which US and Canada will block
  • World leaders last night agreed a new ‘surge’ of support to defeat Vladimir Putin in Ukraine after the Kremlin bombed Kyiv while the G7 met. 

    At a summit in Germany, Emmanuel Macron, who had been seen by No 10 as wavering, yesterday said he was committed for the long haul. 

    Boris Johnson said ‘backing down’ now would be a catastrophic mistake as he warned against encouraging Volodymyr Zelensky to accept a peace deal.

    Downing Street said the Russian leader’s decision to fire missiles on the Ukrainian capital had been ‘stupid’ and had ‘stiffened the resolve’ of leaders.

    The spokesperson added that Macron and Johnson, who have until now had a strained relationship, were ‘aligned’ as the French said the defeat of Russia is ‘option number one’ and peace is ‘number two’. 

    ‘There is a real sense that Putin was stupid to bomb Kyiv as the G7 gathered’, a No 10 source said. ‘It has made the leaders more united’.

    The timing of the attack was seen as a pointed message to world leaders to encourage Ukraine into a peace deal where it cedes large portions of its territory.

    A Downing Street spokesman also warned that ‘enduring instability’ could be created if Putin was not curtailed now from launching similar attacks on other countries. 

    L to R: Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, European Union Council Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, French President Emanuel Macron and European Union Council President Charles Michel pose for a group photo on the first day of the three-day G7

    L to R: Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, European Union Council Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, French President Emanuel Macron and European Union Council President Charles Michel pose for a group photo on the first day of the three-day G7

    Downing Street said the Russian leader's decision to fire missiles on the Ukrainian capital had been 'stupid' and had 'stiffened the resolve' of leaders. Pictured: Guests sit together at the table during a reception in the Antiquarium of the Residenz

    Downing Street said the Russian leader’s decision to fire missiles on the Ukrainian capital had been ‘stupid’ and had ‘stiffened the resolve’ of leaders. Pictured: Guests sit together at the table during a reception in the Antiquarium of the Residenz

    Clockwise from left: Italy's Mario Draghi, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Joe Biden, Mr Johnson, Japan's Fumio Kishida, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel

    Clockwise from left: Italy’s Mario Draghi, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, Joe Biden, Mr Johnson, Japan’s Fumio Kishida, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel

    The timing of Putin's (pictured) attack was seen as a pointed message to G7 members to encourage Ukraine into a peace deal where it cedes large portions of its territory

    The timing of Putin’s (pictured) attack was seen as a pointed message to G7 members to encourage Ukraine into a peace deal where it cedes large portions of its territory

    US President to ‘try and stop’ Boris’ plan to ease global food crisis 

    Joe Biden will try to stop Boris Johnson from moving ahead with his plan to ease the global food crisis, the Telegraph has reported. 

    The Prime Minister today will call on world leaders to take urgent action to get essential food supplies out of Ukraine where 25 million tons of grain are currently stuck. 

    Mr Johnson will tell the G7 today: ‘Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine are creating terrible aftershocks across the world, driving up energy and food prices as millions of people are on the brink of famine.

    ‘Only Putin can end this needless and futile war, but global leaders need to come together and apply their combined economic and political heft to help Ukraine and make life easier for households across the world. Nothing should be off the table.’

    Mr Johnson will explain if countries can swap biofuel crops for food then it will help keep food prices low and prevent starvation. 

    Biden’s officials said they would block the plan due to wanting to keep to green climate targets and help their farmers.   

    The US will be joined by Canada, the Telegraph said, but Germany is said to back the British Prime Minister. 

    Mr Johnson will announce £10 million in funding for repairs to the Ukrainian railways in a bid to get the grain out by train. 

    In meetings today Mr Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will argue that countries should reduce the amount of biofuel they consume so the grains needed to make it can be sold as food instead. 

    However, the US and Canada, which both produce large amounts of biofuel, are resisting the call.

    The UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan make up the G7. Mr Zelensky is due to address the world leaders by video-link today.

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    The Prime Minister yesterday argued that the leaders must help ‘strengthen Ukraine’s hand’ by providing more military support rather than encourage Mr Zelensky to give up territory in a peace deal.

    Downing Street clarified to the Telegraph that this remark about peace by Mr Johnson was to ‘the commentariat’ and not to the G7. 

    ‘It’s not helpful to discuss the individual leaders and their views expressed in private,’ a spokesman added. ‘I think what you will see in this G7 is that they are united in support for Ukraine.’ 

    Mr Johnson and Mr Macron, who have until now had a strained relationship, yesterday agreed to a ‘reset’ as they held one-on-one talks at the summit. But the Downing Street spokesman refused to say whether both leaders had reached an agreement. 

    A No 10 source told the Daily Mail that they now believed the French president was ‘on the right page’ when it came to Ukraine. He said: ‘They’re getting on well, they had a very good meeting. It’s all great with the French now.

    ‘Both sides are aligned. [Mr] Macron said the defeat of Russia is option number one to pursue. Option two is put [Mr] Zelensky in the best position to strike a deal.

    ‘We found that positive and officials say we are heading for a strong statement from this summit on Ukraine.’

    In talks with Mr Macron, Mr Johnson ‘stressed any attempt to settle the conflict now will only cause enduring instability and give Putin licence to manipulate both sovereign countries and international markets in perpetuity’.

    ‘The leaders agreed to continue and enhance the close work between the UK and France on areas including defence and security,’ the spokesman added to the Telegraph

    The PM said yesterday: ‘The consequences of what’s happening for the world are tough, but the price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed, to hack off huge parts of Ukraine, to continue with his programme of conquest, that price will be far, far higher and everybody here understands that.’

    In behind-the-scenes discussions, he reportedly told world leaders they must back an Iraq-style surge strategy to help Ukraine strike a decisive blow to win the war.

    The comments came after Mr Johnson’s spokesman said he ‘firmly believes that it is in everyone’s interest to push back against Russia’s invasion to support Ukraine, because failing to do so would have significant knock-on impacts’.

    The spokesman added: ‘It would embolden other authoritarian countries, and it would put the peace and prosperity of the United Kingdom at risk.’

    The message was repeated by US President Joe Biden, who said: ‘We have to stay together, because Putin has been counting on from the beginning that somehow Nato and the G7 would splinter. But we haven’t and we’re not going to.’

    Carrie Johnson with The President of the United States of America, Jo Biden at the G7 leaders on the first day of the G7 Leaders' Summit 2022 in Germany

    Carrie Johnson with The President of the United States of America, Jo Biden at the G7 leaders on the first day of the G7 Leaders’ Summit 2022 in Germany

    World leaders last night agreed a new 'surge' to defeat Vladimir Putin in Ukraine after the Kremlin bombed Kyiv while the G7 met. Pictured: G7 guests sit together at the table during a reception in the Antiquarium of the Residenz last night

    World leaders last night agreed a new ‘surge’ to defeat Vladimir Putin in Ukraine after the Kremlin bombed Kyiv while the G7 met. Pictured: G7 guests sit together at the table during a reception in the Antiquarium of the Residenz last night

    At a summit in Germany, Emmanuel Macron (pictured close to Boris Johnson), who had been seen by No 10 as wavering, yesterday said he was committed for the long haul after Boris Johnson warned against encouraging Volodymyr Zelensky to accept a peace deal

    At a summit in Germany, Emmanuel Macron (pictured close to Boris Johnson), who had been seen by No 10 as wavering, yesterday said he was committed for the long haul after Boris Johnson warned against encouraging Volodymyr Zelensky to accept a peace deal

    And in a moment of light-heartedness yesterday, the leaders sat together and joked about the Russian leader’s fondness of being photographed without a shirt on. 

    As they sat down for a meeting in the Bavarian Alps, Mr Johnson questioned whether they should keep their suit jackets on.

    ‘Shall we take our clothes off?’ he asked, as leaders endured sweltering temperatures inside the summit venue as the German hosts opted not to use air conditioning in a bid to be environmentally friendly. ‘We all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin’.

    Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM, referred to an infamous picture of Putin on a ‘bare-chested horseback ride’, before Mr Johnson added: ‘We’ve got to show our pecs.’

    Before the meeting, Mr Johnson was asked whether France and Germany are doing enough over Ukraine.

    In his response, Mr Johnson focused on Berlin’s response without mentioning France. 

    ‘Just look at what the Germans alone have done,’ he said. ‘I never believed in my lifetime that I would see a German Chancellor stepping up in the way that Olaf Scholz has and sending weaponry to help the Ukrainians to to protect themselves.

    ‘He’s made huge, huge strides. We have 4 per cent of our gas comes from Russia, in Germany, it’s 40 per cent.

    ‘They’re facing real, real pressures, they’re having to source energy from elsewhere. But they’re doing it. They’re making the effort. They’re making the sacrifice. That’s because they see that the price of freedom is worth paying.

    ‘This is something that it’s worth us standing up for together. And that is the principle that a free, independent sovereign country like Ukraine should not be violently invaded and should not have its boundaries changed by force.

    ‘And the consequences of what’s happening for the world are tough, but the price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed, to hack off huge parts of Ukraine, to continue with his programme of conquest, that price will be far, far higher and everybody here understands that.’

    And in a moment of light-heartedness yesterday, the leaders sat together and joked about the Russian leader's fondness of being photographed without a shirt on. PIctured: Vladimir Putin's famous horse riding pose

    And in a moment of light-heartedness yesterday, the leaders sat together and joked about the Russian leader’s fondness of being photographed without a shirt on. PIctured: Vladimir Putin’s famous horse riding pose

    Mr Johnson (pictured arriving with wife Carrie) said 'backing down' now would be a catastrophic mistake as Downing Street said the Russian leader's decision to fire missiles on the Ukrainian capital had 'stiffend the resolve' of leaders

    Mr Johnson (pictured arriving with wife Carrie) said ‘backing down’ now would be a catastrophic mistake as Downing Street said the Russian leader’s decision to fire missiles on the Ukrainian capital had ‘stiffend the resolve’ of leaders

    Mr Johnson also told reporters yesterday morning: ‘Realistically, there is going to be fatigue in populations and politicians. I think the pressure is there and the anxiety is there, we’ve got to be honest about that.

    ‘But the most incredible thing about the way the West has responded to the invasion of Ukraine by Putin has been the unity. Nato has been solid, the G7 has been solid and we continue to be solid.

    ‘But in order to protect that unity, in order to make it work, we’ve got to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what’s going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling, that populations are feeling – whether it’s on the costs of their energy or food or whatever.’

    The Prime Minister today will call on world leaders to take urgent action to get essential food supplies out of Ukraine where 25 million tons of grain are currently stuck.

    Mr Johnson will announce £10 million in funding for repairs to the Ukrainian railways in a bid to get the grain out by train. In meetings today Mr Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will argue that countries should reduce the amount of biofuel they consume so the grains needed to make it can be sold as food instead. However, the US and Canada, which both produce large amounts of biofuel, are resisting the call.

    The UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan make up the G7. Mr Zelensky is due to address the world leaders by video-link today.