Ukrainian President Zelensky plans to attend Japan’s G7 conference in person

Hong Kong

Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Japan in person Group of Seven (G7) summitAccording to officials familiar with the planning, it was a stark display of confidence and Western solidarity as Ukraine’s wartime leader tries to funnel key support from allies.

Amazing trip – this After that, the President of Ukraine will visit Asia Invasion of Moscow Kyiv is preparing a much-anticipated counterattack against Russia — from his country last February — and building pressure on allied governments for more military aid amid intensified airstrikes.

It also illustrates how Moscow’s offensive against its neighbors has unleashed repercussions beyond Europe’s borders in Asia, where Western-friendly democracies are increasingly unsettled by the growing authoritarian assertiveness of Russia and China.

The war is already high on the agenda of the three-day G7 summit, where the leaders of the world’s richest democracies are expected to issue a strong statement of solidarity in support of Ukraine. Reveal new activities Impeding Russia’s ability to finance and deliver war.

“The most important matters will be decided there,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council, said on Ukrainian television on Friday.

“So the physical presence of our president is absolutely crucial – to defend our interests, to explain, to make clear proposals, to give clear arguments about what is happening in our country,” he said.

G7 member states Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are the biggest supporters of Ukraine’s defense.

Zelensky’s appearance at the summit will bring him face-to-face not only with the leaders of the G7 countries, but also with others invited to attend.

Every year the summit includes geopolitical players from outside the G7 alliance, and this year’s list includes leaders who have been reluctant to fully back Guy in the face of Russian aggression.

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“The key to Zelensky’s visit isn’t that he’s coming to see the G7 — he already has their full support. It’s important to see in person the governments invited to this year’s summit as participants in India, Indonesia, Brazil and more,” said Josh Lipsky, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Center for Geoeconomics.

“These so-called ‘fence-sitter’ countries, as described by (U.S. Treasury Secretary) Janet Yellen, have never seen him,” Lipsky said. “This is a rare opportunity to make his case directly to some of the countries that provide him with vital economic support by continuing to trade with Russia.”

Earlier this week, Zelensky wrapped up a whirlwind European tour, where he tried to restore Ukraine’s military arsenal during stops in Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The Ukrainian leader also attended an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia on Friday, where he expressed sympathy for leaders in Saudi Arabia who “turn a blind eye” to the war in Ukraine.

“Look at how much suffering the long wars have brought to Libya, Syria, Yemen, how many lives have been wasted in years of fighting in Sudan and Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan,” Zelensky told his colleagues.

“I believe most of us are here for peace and justice.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended the Arab League summit for the first time in a decade and was seen on camera in the conference room minutes before Zelensky’s speech. Syria is one of only two countries in the world (along with North Korea) to recognize Russia’s alleged annexation of four Ukrainian regions last year.

Zelensky’s expected trip across the globe to Japan will give him another opportunity to meet face-to-face with the leaders of the world’s richest democracies to press his plea for military support.

That would send a signal from a confident and well-connected Ukraine that stands in stark contrast to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who has become increasingly isolated and cut off in recent months — especially after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him for war crimes. Crimes.

Japan’s foreign ministry said earlier that Zelensky would almost certainly attend Sunday’s session of the G7 after being invited to the meeting by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida earlier this year.

Kishida made a surprise visit to Ukraine in March, while earlier this month Japan confirmed it was in talks to open a NATO liaison office, the first of its kind in Asia, arguing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had destabilized the world.

The frantic week of diplomacy comes amid heightened urgency at home as Russia’s war consumes Ukraine’s resources and people in a fight for survival.

Airstrikes rained down across Ukraine on Thursday, with explosions heard in areas across the country, including the capital, city officials said. They claim that Russia exists This month was bombarded by a series of airstrikes of unprecedented force and intensity.

But Kyiv’s anti-missile defenses — bolstered by critical Western weapons — have scored an apparent success, with the Ukrainian air force claiming to have shot down 29 of 30 cruise missiles fired by Russia on Thursday night.

Cave says Zelensky’s appearance at the summit is to protect its people from Russian airstrikes and bolster any counteroffensive.

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“What Zelensky wants to get from the G7 is assurances about their support for the war, and he wants to make sure there is no fatigue,” added Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University. The timing of Zelensky’s visit was crucial to the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia.

The President of Ukraine welcomed the addition Pledges of military support That effort — including $3 billion in military aid from Germany — ended his European tour earlier this week, but renewed calls for more modern fighter jets.

Ukraine has topped the list in recent months F-16 fighter jetsAnd earlier this week Britain said it would form an “international alliance” with the Netherlands to help Ukraine buy jets and train pilots to fly them.

Biden administration Recently signaled The U.S. will allow European allies to export jets to Ukraine, CNN reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the discussions.

Zelensky’s visit to Asia is expected to follow a visit by Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska.

On Tuesday, Zelenska Pressed South Korea to supply his country with air defense systems and non-lethal military hardware during a meeting with President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul.

China – which is not part of the G7 and maintains close ties with Russia – has been playing a role in peacemaking, turning to Asia as Beijing sent its own special envoy to Europe this week to encourage talks to end the conflict.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Zelensky met with Ambassador Li Hui earlier this week. Later that day, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Li met with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and discussed “ways to stop Russian aggression.”

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