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NATO plays key support role for Ukraine, secretary general says

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, second right, participates in a video conference with G7 leaders on the situation in Ukraine, at the Hotel Marigny in Paris, France, on October 11. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

Heading into today’s G7 meeting, officials said they expected two areas of primary focus for the group of leaders: determining where they can bolster support for Ukraine’s air defenses and the uncertain energy situation as winter approaches.  

The meeting, which is underway now, had been in the works ahead of Monday’s bombardments in Kyiv and other cities but the meeting assumed a new urgency as Russia targeted civilian targets.  

Officials have been working on a joint statement from the G7 to release when the meeting concludes, but it wasn’t clear that it would include major new joint announcements on sanctions, security assistance or energy independence from Russia. One European official said major deliverables weren’t expected to come out of the meeting. 

Instead, the leaders hope to again demonstrate Western unity as they hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who officials expect will continue to call for better air defenses and more sanctions on Russia.  

On Monday, Zelensky had separate phone conversations with six of the seven leaders of the G7 — US President Joe Biden, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, the UK’s Liz Truss, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Italy’s Mario Draghi. 

Biden also spoke with German Chancellor Scholz, the G7 president, this weekend, partly to prepare for today’s call. While the White House didn’t mention the nuclear threat from Russia in its readout, the topic did arise in the conversation. 

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