Zelenskyy Is Expected to Travel to Japan for G-7, Seeking Arms and Aid
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine is scheduled to appear in person at the Group of 7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend, several officials said, making an audacious trip halfway across the world as he tries to win commitments for continued arms and aid from the world’s wealthiest democracies.
The officials did not say when Zelenskyy would arrive, hoping to keep details of his travels vague for security reasons. But the leaders gathered in Hiroshima — who include President Joe Biden and his counterparts from Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Italy — will be talking over the next three days about all dimensions of Russia’s war in Ukraine. That is likely to include discussions about sanctions enforcement, over whether to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and about the possibility of negotiations over an armistice or peace treaty.
So far, there have been no public announcements about Zelenskyy’s plans, and the Ukrainian news media has suggested that he will join the summit virtually. But in the past week, he has visited Britain and other European nations, and his willingness to travel outside Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, is intended in part to demonstrate that he has confidence in the stability of his own government. There have been no known efforts by the Russians to interfere with his travels.
If Zelenskyy arrives in Hiroshima, he will almost certainly have a one-on-one meeting with Biden. The leaders of India, Brazil and other nations that have been reluctant to support Ukraine are also at the meeting as observers, and Zelenskyy’s presence could make it more difficult for them continue that stance, several officials said.
Zelenskyy’s expected trip to Japan comes amid mounting pressure for success in Ukraine’s impending counteroffensive against Russian forces, to turn the tide of a conflict that has settled into a grinding, draining battle with little movement in recent months. He will be making his plea against the backdrop of a city that stands as a stark reminder of the catastrophic costs of war.
“We have a task to maintain the momentum of international support and communication for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Thursday. “I am confident that we will accomplish this task.”
This story was originally published at nytimes.com.