Ukraine-Russia war: Putin sets conditions for ceasefire – but Ukraine says it is ‘complete sham’ | World News


Analysis: G7 leaders have made surprisingly robust progress – but where will coalition be a year from now?

By Dominic Waghorn, international affairs editor

They came battered and worn by battles back home for a few days by the sea seeking sanctuary and solace in a wellness resort turned summit venue.

The G7 leaders will leave fortified by some surprisingly robust diplomatic progress but potentially terminal doubts remain for the alliance.

They have sent Russia a clear message. They may individually be on borrowed time as leaders but the West  has Ukraine’s back for as long as it takes.

And China’s been on the sharp end of some particularly proactive diplomacy too.

Two signature deals send billions more aid to Ukraine. The allies overcame stark differences between themselves to forge a creative deal that uses interest from frozen Russia banking assets to send fifty billion more dollars to Kyiv by the year’s end.

In Moscow the Russians did not conceal their fury at the prospect of their money being used against them.

And a ten year bilateral security pact between America and Ukraine is another blow to Vladimir Putin. He started this war to deter the expansion of the western military alliance. Yet again it is having the opposite effect. The pact is a bridge to Ukraine joining NATO, even if that is many many years still away.

The G7 warned China in a number of ways. The final communique criticised its belligerence in the South China Sea and admonished Beijing for quietly helping Putin’s war effort by trading dual use products that could help bolster his war effort.

But the composition of this summit was also a message for Beijing. The G7 invited pretty much the entire G20 here except for China.  If you want to be in the club they were saying, not very subtly, then stop conniving with Putin and play by our rules. 

In Beijing that will be infuriating.

The leaders have seemed all the better for their spell in the sunshine, spirits lifted before going home to face the music. 

But what they cant do is dispel doubts about their future and that of the alliance.

Security pacts tend to survive changes of administration, Ukraine will have its $50bn by year’s end.

But what will the G7 look like when they next meet a year from now?

Donald Trump looks increasingly likely to win the US election and Joe Biden’s performance here will have nothing to reassure the allies. He has seemed vacant and distracted at times, older than ever.

Trump has no time for multilateral organisations. That was made abundantly clear in his first term in office. In his transactional zero sum game world view they make no sense.

A year from now he could be six months into destroying NATO, deserting Ukraine and dismantling the G7. 

First time round for all his puerile antics, he could do limited damage at these summits contained by the likes of Merkel and Macron both at the height of their powers.

Olaf Scholz is no Merkel and may be gone by then, joining Sunak, Kishida and Trudeau perhaps too heading for the history books.  Macron is on the way to being a lame duck president hamstrung by a far right national assembly if current polling is correct.

The alliance is in peril like never before, however successful they’ve been holding it together for now.

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