President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky to Hold Crucial Military Support Talks at G7 Summit in Apulia, Italy

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are set to meet during the G7 summit in Apulia, Italy. While the deal they plan to sign will not have the legal strength of a treaty, it will signify a commitment to long-term military support.

Warm Welcome at the G7 Summit

President Joe Biden began the G7 summit in Italy by warmly greeting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. He landed in Italy’s Apulia region on Wednesday night and was the last of the world leaders to arrive. Biden and Meloni shared an extended greeting, including a handshake and a unique halfway salute.

Meloni’s Greetings Reflect Cultural Sensitivities

Prime Minister Meloni tailored her greetings to match the personalities and cultural expectations of each leader. She offered a traditional greeting to Germany’s Olaf Schultz and Japan’s Fumio Kishida, while she shared a long embrace with France’s Emmanuel Macron. After greeting the other leaders, she awaited Biden’s arrival.

Biden’s Challenges at Home

At a similar event, the G20 in Hiroshima, Biden nearly stumbled. Now, at the G7, Biden faces significant challenges back home. His approval ratings are low, and he trails Republican Donald Trump in national and key swing state polls. Additionally, Biden’s son Hunter was recently convicted on gun charges in Delaware.

A Struggle for Many Leaders

Other leaders at the summit are also facing difficulties. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who greeted Meloni warmly, could lose power soon in snap elections. Meloni, however, has been strengthened by recent European Parliament elections.

Meeting With Zelensky

Biden is scheduled to meet one-on-one with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The two leaders will hold a joint press conference on Thursday evening. They aim to demonstrate U.S. support for Ukraine and commitment to addressing its security needs into the future.

Long-Term Support for Ukraine

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan emphasized the significance of the deal, highlighting its role in supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression and deterring future threats. Although the deal lacks the permanence of a Senate-ratified treaty, it still poses a challenge for any potential Republican successor to Biden.

Congressional Efforts and Challenges

The deal follows Biden’s success in pushing through a $60 billion aid measure for Ukraine, despite opposition from Republican lawmakers. Trump, who has previously clashed with his administration over military aid to Ukraine, will meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill to discuss their position.

Financial Support for Ukraine

Another emerging agreement from the G7 meetings is a $50 billion loan to Ukraine, sourced from interest on seized Russian assets. Although details are still being finalized, the funds could reach Kiev by the end of the year. Sullivan remains optimistic but cautious about immediate success.

Diplomatic Efforts and Challenges

The summit is taking place at Borgo Egnazia, an elegant medieval-style village. However, local police protecting the leaders have complained about subpar living conditions on their housing ship. Despite these challenges, Biden and other G7 leaders are working through complex financial and diplomatic negotiations.

Personal Matters for the Biden Family

All of Hunter Biden’s children are accompanying President Biden on this trip. The family is dealing with the aftermath of Hunter’s guilty verdict, a matter on which President Biden has yet to comment publicly.

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