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Ukraine war: G7 leaders under pressure to stand together and not buckle in face of Putin’s aggression | UK News


We’ve got to show them our pecs, the prime minister told his fellow G7 leaders after suggesting their take their clothes off.

“We all have to show we’re tougher than Putin,” Boris Johnson joked.

Canadian leader Justin Trudeau agreed: “We’ve got to get the bare-chested horseback riding.”

Kyiv attack was ‘murderous cowardice’ – see live Ukraine war updates

They may have been mocking the Russian leader known for his penchant for appearing bare-chested in publicity stunts.

But Vladimir Putin had sent his message earlier to the G7, sending 14 cruise missiles to hit residential buildings and other targets in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv.

“More and more barbarism,” said US President Joe Biden when asked about the attacks.

As the war grinds into the fifth month, G7 leaders know they must project unity against that barbarism.

“The message is we are standing united,” said the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Mr Biden as they met.

Vladimir Putin pictured bare chested and riding a horse in 2009. Image: AP
Vladimir Putin pictured bare chested and riding a horse in 2009. Image: AP

And Mr Johnson and Emmanuel Macron were at pains to show they get on despite their differences.

Two months ago the war had seemed to be moving in Ukraine’s favour, possibly over by the end of the year.

Now, Russia has the upper hand and is on the verge of taking the entire Donbas region.

The war looks set to go for some considerable time to come.

That means the West must gird itself for a protracted conflict and show enduring unity.

The challenge it faces in doing this is politically weak leadership and divisions over the best way forward.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden and France's President Emmanuel Macron before a G7 leaders meeting during a NATO summit on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/Pool

Johnson and Biden are unpopular and Macron has lost control of the French parliament, meaning he will be distracted by domestic battles ahead.

They have buried the hatchet it seems for now, but there have been clear differences over whether or not to negotiate with Putin and pressure the Ukrainians to cede land for peace.

The longer the war goes on the greater the chance of divisions opening up. And the greater the consequences of war.

It is pushing up food and fuel prices, increasing inflation and the chances of recession.

Read more:
Boris Johnson jokes about G7 being ‘tougher’ than Vladimir Putin
The G7 must find strength and unity to overcome huge challenges

G7 protesters concerned fallout from Ukraine war is pushing climate down agenda

One casualty of war may already be G7 efforts to tackle climate change.

In summit negotiations, the German hosts are reportedly trying to water down proposals to end financing of overseas fossil fuel projects, as they try and wean themselves off Russian energy.

The longer the war goes on the greater the pressure on these leaders to stand together and not buckle in the face of Putin’s aggression.

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