Joe Biden has insisted Russian president Vladimir Putin “will not break our resolve” as he vowed America would show “unwavering” commitment to Ukraine in a speech at the G7 summit.
Speaking on the last day of the summit in Japan, the US president called for “peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
He also said Volodymyr Zelensky has given the US a “flat assurance” that Ukraine will not use F-16 jets to attack Russian territory after the US gave the green light for Western allies to hand over their F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv to bolster defences.
“Russia started this war and Russia can end it today by withdrawing its troops from internationally recognised borders,” Mr Biden said.
“This morning I once more shared and assured president Zelensky that we will not waver. Putin will not break our resolve, as he thought he could two years ago, almost three years ago.”
It comes after Mr Biden announced a new package of military aid for Ukraine, totalling $375m. The US president told Mr Zelensky that the US is doing all it can to strengthen Ukraine’s defence against Russian aggression.
The package includes ammunition, artillery, armoured vehicles and training. “Together with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back and I promise we’re not going anywhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky addressed the summit in Hiroshima to deny claims by Mr Putin that Bakhmut, which has been subject to a long-running bloody battle, had fallen into Russian control.
Mr Putin congratulated his troops after the leader of the Wagner mercenary group said its fighters had seized the key battle city on Saturday afternoon – a claim quickly denied by Kyiv.
“Bakhmut is not occupied by Russian Federation as of today. There are no two or three interpretations of those words,” Mr Zelensky said.
He also refused to be drawn on details of the counter-offensive which is said to be being prepared by Ukraine. He told reporters: “Russia will feel when we have a counter-offensive.”
G7 leaders have hailed the Ukrainian president’s presence at the summit, despite not being a member of the G7.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak said Mr Zelesnky’s attendance had “historic significance” which shows a “powerful message” to the Russian leader. “We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes, because their security is our security,” he added.
“We must and we will show that violent territorial aggression does not reap rewards. There could be no more fitting place to discuss the urgent need for peace than Hiroshima.”
TMr Sunak also supported president Biden’s decision to train Ukrainian pilots and provide F-16 jets to Ukraine.
Mr Sunak said: “We’re supporting Ukraine to develop the air force it needs for the future with the UK training Ukrainian pilots, starting this summer. And we’ve made a real breakthrough at this summit, thanks to President Biden’s support for an international coalition to provide F-16 jets.”
It comes after Russia warned Western countries that supplying Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets would carry “colossal risks”.