Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise appearance at the G7 Hiroshima Summit in Japan on May 20, during which he held talks with the main military allies and supporters of his country.
"G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today," he wrote in a message on social media on May 20.
It has been announced that Zelenskyy is to attend a session on “peace and stability” on May 21, which will also include the representatives of invited non-G7 nations.
The Ukrainian president was also scheduled to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden during his visit to Hiroshima, head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak said. Talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida were scheduled as well.
Japan invited Zelenskyy to also visit the Hiroshima Museum documenting the devastation caused by a U.S. atomic bomb dropped on the city in 1945, as well as honour the memory of the victims of the atomic bombing, Japanese outlet Kyodo wrote.
Many Western media, including Bloomberg, CNN and the Washington Post reported on May 19 that Zelenskyy was to attend the G7 Hiroshima Summit. Later, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, also said that it was possible that Zelenskyy might attend the meeting of the world’s top leaders.
"Very important decisions will be made at the G7 summit, and therefore the physical presence of our president is absolutely important for defending Ukraine's interests," Danilov said.
The world's media emphasized the powerful symbolism of this year's G7 summit venue, as Hiroshima was the site of the first use of nuclear weapons in human history.
"Zelensky, who has displayed a knack for resonant gestures and stark messages, has been pressing for more Western support for planes and military equipment, and he has earned new commitments for billions of dollars in military support during recent trips to Germany, France, Italy and Britain — all G-7 members," the Washington Post wrote, commenting on the Ukrainian leader’s trip to Japan.
The G7 leaders will discuss the following issues with regard to Ukraine:
- the situation and balance of forces on the battlefield in Ukraine;
- the current sanctions and steps the G7 countries can collectively take to ensure the implementation of these sanctions — in particular, to prevent evasion or loopholes, and to strengthen their impact in the coming months;
- the United States and the rest of the G7 countries will adopt new sanctions and export control measures against Russia (in particular, the UK announced a ban on Russian diamonds and imports of metals from Russia, including copper, aluminium and nickel, and introduced a new package of sanctions against 86 individuals and entities), according to Reuters.
- the possibility of an international peace summit on Ukraine;
- Russia's repeated threats to use nuclear weapons.
The G7 leaders (Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and French President Emmanuel Macron) are attending the summit. Representatives of the European Union — President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen are at the summit as a non-enumerated member of the group.
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