July 4st 2023
On June 24th, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark in Northern Europe, high-ranking security officials from major seven countries (G7), including Japan and the United States, as well as India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey, and representatives from the “Global South” countries, Ukraine, and Denmark, gathered to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The participants included Takeo Akiba, Director of the Japanese National Security Secretariat, Jake Sullivan, US President’s Assistant (National Security Advisor), Stephen Barrow, UK Prime Minister’s Assistant (also in charge of security), and Jens Plotner, German Chancellor’s Assistant (Foreign Affairs and Security). Also present were Andriy Yermak, Chief of Staff of Ukrainian President Zelensky, who is one of the closest advisors to President Zelensky, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Indian Deputy Foreign Minister (in charge of Europe), and Saudi Arabia’s Security Advisor, Musaed.
First of all, the reason why this meeting was held in Denmark is as follows. Since last summer, Denmark has been providing Ukraine with large weapons and equipment such as self-propelled howitzers called “Caesar” and armored personnel carriers. In late January, Prime Minister Frederiksen visited Mykolayiv in southern Ukraine and held talks with President Zelensky. Furthermore, on June 5th, she visited Washington, D.C., and had a meeting with President Biden, confirming their solidarity in supporting Ukraine.
Furthermore, in May, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom agreed to establish a “Fighter Jet Coalition” to cooperate in the supply and operation of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter jets and the training of Ukrainian pilots. It is speculated that Denmark hosted this meeting as part of its ongoing actions and cooperation. It provided an opportunity for the participating countries to exchange views on the situation in Ukraine and explore collaborative strategies.▶︎
▶︎The Ukraine-related meeting in question was proposed by Prime Minister Frederiksen in response to an invitation from the Biden administration after her meeting with President Zelensky in early spring. Consequently, the meeting was held in Copenhagen and Vice-Chancellor Bech Andersen of the Danish Prime Minister’s Office served as the host. There were some incidents that occurred during the meeting. One of them was the “armed uprising” commotion on the 23rd and 24th, led by Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian private military company “Wagner”. As a result, due to President Biden’s orders, Mr. Sullivan had to participate online as he couldn’t leave Camp David (the President’s retreat).
During the high-level security officials’ meeting, several topics were discussed. Sullivan, Barrow, and Yermak highlighted the expansion and strengthening of support for Ukraine due to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s invitation to major countries of the Global South (emerging and developing nations in the Southern Hemisphere) to the expanded meeting of the G7 Hiroshima Summit. Akiba stated his strong support for Ukraine’s efforts towards achieving a just and lasting peace. At the same time, he expressed disappointment at China’s non-participation in the Danish conference. This particular development is expected to be a positive factor in Prime Minister Kishida’s diplomacy this autumn.