BERLIN (AP) — Top diplomats from the Group of Seven wealthy nations are gathering in northern Germany to discuss the war in Ukraine, energy and food security, relations with China and climate change during a three-day meeting starting Thursday.

The foreign ministers of Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, which fears becoming Russia’s next target of aggression, have been invited to attend as guests. Indonesia’s foreign minister, whose country chairs the Group of 20 major economies this year, plans to take part remotely to discuss the global impacts of the war.

The meeting at the Baltic Sea resort of Weissenhaus, located northeast of Hamburg, takes place amid tight security, with about 3,500 police officers deployed at the event site.

Speaking in Berlin on Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the German government’s recent decisions to step up military support for his country.

“We see a positive, positive dynamic,” Kuleba told reporters after a meeting with German lawmakers. “We have to make sure that this positive dynamic is maintained.”

Kuleba said he considered it a “signal of strength” that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democratic Party had dropped its opposition to providing Ukraine with heavy weapons.

He also expressed hope that the European Union would soon approve Ukraine’s application to start the process of joining the bloc. French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested it could be decades before Ukraine is ready to become a full EU member.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock recently visited Kyiv, the first top representative of Germany to travel to Ukraine’s capital since the start of the war, and expressed support for Ukraine’s EU application.

Also attending the meeting in Weissenhaus are the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Japan. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland will represent the United States; U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is recovering from COVID-19 but is scheduled to travel to Berlin for a weekend meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

The NATO gathering will also hear from the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland as the two countries are poised to join the Western military alliance amid concerns over the military threat from Russia.


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