France's Macron: G7 is opportunity to convince Global South over Ukraine

French President Macron visits Institut Curie laboratory in Saint-Cloud

By John Irish

HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) -French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan is an opportunity to convince big emerging states such as India and Brazil regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Macron was speaking to reporters a day after calling the surprise visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy - brought to the summit in Japan on a French government plane - a "game changer".

Brazil and India, two giants of the non-aligned "Global South" of low- and middle-income countries, are attending the G7 summit. They have maintained economic and political relations with Moscow after its invasion 15 months ago, frustrating Western efforts to isolate Russia.

Macron said the summit in Hiroshima had been one of unity, notably for Ukraine, and aimed to build a framework for a peace that must be durable, not based on a ceasefire that would create a frozen conflict, and must adhere to international law.

"This war isn't just European," Macron said. "It's the opportunity to discuss, exchange and convince partners of this enlarged G7... India, Brazil, Indonesia and several other countries from the south, who have sometimes not exchanged as much with Ukraine."

He said Zelenskiy would explain the situation on the ground, while the G7 - the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada - would stress the fundamentals of the international order and the importance of keeping to the United Nations charter.

"This allows Zelenskiy to express himself to powers of the world who at times are exposed to just one discourse. And I say that just a few weeks before a BRICS summit," Macron said, referring to the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He declined to comment on events in Ukraine's smashed eastern city of Bakhmut, the focus of the fighting for months, where Russia said on Saturday it was now in control.

"I will remain prudent. This battle, which started in December, shows the difficulty with which the Russians have to advance," Macron said.

(Reporting by John Irish in Hiroshima, Japan; Editing by William Mallard)