This morning at G7, President Biden had an opportunity to hear from President Zelenskyy and then to spend two hours with him and G7 leaders discussing the way forward in Ukraine.

At Schloss Elmau, NSA Jake Sullivan went on record to confirm that the new US aid package to Ukraine would include new air defense systems.

“I can confirm that we are in fact, in the process of finalizing a package that includes advanced air defense capabilities,” he said. “As [Biden] told President Zelenskyy, we do intend to finalize a package that includes advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities for the Ukrainians, along with some other items that are of urgent need, including ammunition for artillery and counter-battery radar systems.”

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaking with US President Joe Biden before the start of the fourth working session./Photo: Federal Government/Kugler

Jake Sullivan reveals the G7 meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy was about strategy

Zelenskyy, Sullivan said, spoke about yesterday’s missile attacks on Kyiv and told the G7 that he wanted “additional air defense capabilities that could shoot down Russian missiles out in sky. “

According to Sullivan, Biden was able to be “positively responsive” to him.

Sullivan shared that Zelenskky had some additional requests for economic assistance to Ukraine.

Fourth working session of the G7 heads of state and government, with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine taking part remotely. /Photo: Federal Government/Denzel

“President Biden and other G7 leaders were able to explain to him the assistance that we’re providing on a monthly basis to the tune of a total of $7.5 billion in economic assistance from the United States.”

On the discussion with Zelenskyy, he said, “A lot of it was detailed and sensitive. It was a real conversation about strategy.”

Sullivan outlined, “What we’re trying to do with this point is tailor our military assistance to the particular, immediate needs of Ukrainians on the battlefield at a given point in time.”

Zelenskyy believes “a grinding conflict is not in the interest of the Ukrainian people”

Zelenskyy made clear he wants to shorten the war. He told the G7 leaders he wanted the war over by the end of the year, before the winter sets in.

“He believes that a grinding conflict is not in the interest of the Ukrainian people, for obvious reasons,” said Sullivan.

“So he would like to see his military and those in the West who are supporting his military make maximum use of the next few months to put the Ukrainians in as good a position as they can possibly be in with respect to the situation on the ground in both the East and the South. And that’s consistent with the American approach of trying to flow in the necessary material and equipment to put the Ukrainians in an advantageous position on the battlefield.”

On oil price caps, Jake Sullivan said the delay with a final agreement by the G7 had less to do with irresolvable issues than the novelty and complexity of the approach.

“The single biggest factor here is this is not something that can be pulled off the shelf as a tried and true method…it is a new kind of concept to deal with a particularly novel challenge, which is how to effectively deal with a country that’s selling millions of barrels of oil a day.”

An eventual G7 agreement on price caps, he said, would mark “pretty dramatic step forward” and would amount to “one of the more significant outcomes of G-7 summit.”

Sullivan wouldn’t say whether agreeing on and imposing price caps was likely to happen in a matter of weeks or months.

“There is no reason though, that if leaders come together around this, that there couldn’t be relatively rapid work done on it,” he said.

Sullivan: competition does not mean confrontation

Looking ahead to the NATO Madrid summit, Jake Sullivan said the US is “trying to resolve as many [issues Turkey has with Finland and Sweden joining the alliance]” before and during the summit.

Asked if Biden would hold a bilateral meeting with Erdogan, Sullivan said “nothing’s scheduled at the moment” but didn’t rule it out. “Let’s see how the next 24 hours unfold, there is activity occurring.”

Finally, Sullivan said Biden and China’s Xi “will have the opportunity to engage over the course of the next few weeks.”

He said “there is increasing convergence at the G7, and NATO around the challenge poses” but that “competition does not mean confrontation.”

“We’re not looking to divide the world into rival blocs and make every country choose,” he said.

“We want to stand for a set of principles that are fair to everybody. And we want to ensure that we’re working with like-minded partners to hold China accountable to adhere to those rules.”

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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