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G7 summit photo shows isolation Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing on world stage

Photos of world leaders together at this past weekend’s Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan show the level of isolation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing on the global stage. 

Ten years ago, when Russia was a part of the Group of Eight, Putin was photographed in Northern Ireland waving his hand alongside then-President Obama, former British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

However, over the weekend in Hiroshima, Putin was notably absent when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posed Sunday next to President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others. 

G7 leaders pose for photo in Japan

President Biden, third from left, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, and other G7 leaders pose for a photo before a working session on Ukraine during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on Sunday, May 21. Other leaders from right to left, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Zelenskyy, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and European Council President Charles Michel. (AP/Kyodo News)

Since the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine in February 2022, Putin has remained in near-total isolation in Russia. 

In March of this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited him for a series of meetings in Moscow. 

Zelenskyy arrived in Japan Saturday for diplomatic talks with G7 leaders after the U.S. pledged to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jet fighters. 

“Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory,” Zelenskyy wrote in a Twitter post upon his arrival in Japan. “Peace will become closer today.” 

Leaders of G-8 nations in Northern Ireland in 2013

G8 leaders from left to right, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy pose during a group photo opportunity during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on June 18, 2013.

An EU official told the Associated Press that Zelenskyy would take part in two separate sessions Sunday.  

Xi, Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands in Moscow on March 21, 2023. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via Getty Images)


The first session was with G7 members only and focused on the war in Ukraine. The second session included the G7 as well as the other nations invited to take part in the summit, and will focus on “peace and stability.” 

Ahead of Zelenskyy’s participation at the G7, the group announced it will provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets and train Ukrainian pilots to fly them. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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