Zelensky Arrives in Hiroshima for G7 Summit

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2023 8:00 AM CDT
Zelensky Arrives in Hiroshima for G7 Summit
President Biden listens as G7 leaders participate in an event on global infrastructure and investment during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Saturday, May 20, 2023.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived Saturday in Japan for talks with the leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies, a personal appearance meant to galvanize global attention as the nations ratchet up pressure on Moscow for its 15-month invasion of Ukraine. Bolstering international support is a key priority as Ukraine prepares for what's seen as a major push to take back territory seized by Russia in the war that began in February last year. Zelensky's in-person visit to the G7 summit in Hiroshima came just hours after the United States agreed to allow training on potent American-made fighter jets, laying the groundwork for their eventual transfer to Ukraine, the AP reports.

Japan said Zelensky's inclusion stems from his "strong wish" to participate in talks with the bloc and other countries that will influence his nation’s defense against Russia. A European Union official, speaking on condition of anonymity to brief reporters on the deliberations, said Zelensky will take part in two separate sessions Sunday. One session will be with G7 members only and will focus on the war in Ukraine. Another will include the G7 as well as the other nations invited to take part in the summit, and will focus on "peace and stability."

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that President Biden and Zelensky would have direct engagement at the summit. On Friday, Biden announced his support for training Ukrainian pilots on US-made F-16 fighter jets, a precursor to eventually providing those aircraft to Ukraine. The G7 vowed to intensify the pressure on Russia in a joint statement Saturday. "Russia’s brutal war of aggression represents a threat to the whole world in breach of fundamental norms, rules and principles of the international community. We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace," the group said. (More Group of Seven stories.)

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