Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Japan on Saturday to attend the Group of Seven (G-7) summit, where he hopes to gain support from the world’s rich democracies and engage with leaders from the Global South who have close ties to Russia. The G-7 meeting in Hiroshima, the first city to suffer a nuclear attack, highlights Western concerns over the nuclear threat posed by Moscow.
The G-7 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, and Canada, and is currently grappling with the challenges posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tensions with China, particularly over Taiwan and economic security. The G-7 issued a communique outlining a common strategy towards future dealings with China, acknowledging the need for economic resilience through de-risking and diversification, while emphasizing the importance of China playing by international rules.
The G-7 also warned against countries using trade as a weapon, sending a strong signal to Beijing over economic bullying. Zelenskyy arrived in Japan just as the communique was issued and met with leaders from the Global South to discuss Ukraine’s view of the situation as the victim of a Russian attack and the potential for a peaceful settlement in the future.
French and European officials emphasized the importance of Zelenskyy attending the G-7 in person to outline Ukraine’s perspective, particularly to non-aligned states, and to try to gain their support for the defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Zelenskyy is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with G-7 leaders and leaders from India and Brazil, two countries that have not distanced themselves from Moscow.
Zelenskyy’s attendance at the G-7 summit provides a rare opportunity for him to seek support from the world’s wealthiest democracies while engaging with leaders from the Global South who have long-standing ties to Russia.
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