UK's Sunak to seek more Ukraine support in summits next week
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will push other global leaders to pledge more support for Ukraine in its defence against the Russian invasion when he attends international summits next week, his office said on Saturday.
Sunak, looking to bounce back after heavy losses for his Conservative Party in local elections last week, will travel to Iceland on Tuesday to meet other European leaders attending a Council of Europe summit.
In addition to the war in Ukraine, efforts to strengthen Europe's borders will also form part of Sunak's discussions in Reykjavik.
He will then travel to Tokyo to announce a defence and technology collaboration with Japan, before meeting leaders of other Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies in Hiroshima, starting on Friday.
At the G7 summit, Sunak will again push for more assistance for Ukraine as it prepares for escalating military action against Russia, Downing Street said.
Britain on Thursday became the first country to start supplying Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, which will allow its forces to hit Russian troops and supply dumps deep behind the front lines.
Germany on Saturday announced 2.7 billion euro ($3 billion) of military aid to Ukraine, including 30 Leopard 1 tanks, its biggest such package yet since Russia's invasion.
Sunak will also press allies to counter hostile states using "economic coercion" - an oblique reference to China.
Earlier on Saturday a draft statement showed Washington and the EU plan to ramp up coordination to tackle concerns around Chinese trade and investment practices, at a meeting this month.
"This year's G7 Summit in Hiroshima comes at a pivotal moment, as Ukraine doubles down in its fight for survival and we deal with complex threats to global peace and prosperity," Sunak said in a statement.
He will hold several bilateral meetings during the summit, his office said.
G7 finance ministers meeting this week warned on Saturday of mounting economic uncertainty, in a subdued end to a three-day summit overshadowed by concerns about the U.S. debt stalemate and fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by David Holmes)