Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida at the G7 summit in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima, Japan— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his attendance at the Group of Seven summit, the foreign ministry of Japan announced.
Zelenskyy will also participate in a peace and security meeting with G7 leaders and other country representatives during the Hiroshima summit, Japan’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.
The Ukrainian leader is expected to arrive in Hiroshima on Saturday after concluding a surprise visit to an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, where he called on Middle East leaders to “help protect our people, including already. [the] Ukrainian Muslim community”.
Earlier in the week, Zelenskyy conducted a whistle-stop tour of Italy, the Vatican, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, where political leaders pledged to help restock the depleted supply of missiles, tanks and drones in Ukraine.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, confirmed reports on Friday that Zelenskyy would attend the G7 summit in person after earlier indications that the Ukrainian leader would only attend the gathering online.
Zelenskyy’s trip to Japan will be his first visit to Asia since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Kishida, the G7 host, has taken the strongest stance against Russia’s war in Ukraine among Asian leaders, imposing sanctions on hundreds of Russian entities and pledging billions of dollars in aid to Kyiv.
Kishida has implemented Japan’s largest military buildup since World War II and has repeatedly linked the situation in Ukraine to the fate of Taiwan, which China has threatened to “reunify” with the Chinese mainland by force. if necessary.
In March, Kishida visited Ukraine where Zelenskyy described the Japanese leader as a “powerful defender of international order” and “a longtime friend of Ukraine”.
Nick Bisley, a professor of international relations at La Trobe University in Melbourne, told Al Jazeera that Zelenskyy’s attendance was a “huge boost” for the summit and would help “mobilize a ticket of unity with Russia “.
In Hiroshima, Zelenskyy is expected to rally the G7 member countries – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the United States – to increase pressure on Moscow to end the war and increase their support for Ukraine.
Zelenskyy is also expected to hold bilateral talks with G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden.
On Friday, G7 leaders pledged to further tighten sanctions on Russia to reduce its ability to continue its “illegal aggression” against Ukraine. The club of rich economies is expected to unveil a range of coordinated measures targeting the Russian economy, although there are divisions among members over how far the punitive measures should go.
The US and UK on Friday announced new unilateral sanctions, including London’s ban on importing Russian diamonds.