22nd March 2023 – (Kyiv) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Tuesday that he will attend the upcoming G7 summit via an online link after receiving an invitation from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Zelensky made the announcement during a joint briefing with Kishida in Kyiv, following the latter’s surprise visit to the country.
During the meeting, Kishida pledged US$30 million in non-lethal aid to Ukraine through NATO’s fund. Zelensky welcomed the aid, stating that Ukraine is in dire need of such equipment to defend itself against Russian aggression. The Ukrainian president also expressed his gratitude towards Japan for its continued support and solidarity with Ukraine.
The meeting also discussed Ukraine’s efforts to achieve peace in the region. Zelensky revealed that Ukraine has reached out to China to join its peace plan, but is still waiting for a response from Beijing. The plan involves the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine, a condition that China had previously proposed in its 12-point plan. Zelensky emphasised the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and urged all parties to come to the negotiating table.
Kishida’s surprise visit to Ukraine has raised eyebrows as the Japanese prime minister did not inform the public nor seek parliamentary approval before embarking on the trip. According to reports, Kishida had been planning to visit Ukraine since the outbreak of the conflict in 2014, but had to postpone his trip due to security concerns.
The visit was also significant as Kishida is the only G7 leader who had not met with Zelensky before. Japan is also the last G7 member to have a leader visit Ukraine, highlighting the country’s growing importance in the region.
Zelensky’s virtual attendance at the G7 summit comes as the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit is scheduled to take place in May in Hiroshima, Japan. The G7 leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues, including climate change, global security, and economic recovery.
Zelensky’s attendance is significant as Ukraine is not a member of the G7, but has been invited to attend as a guest. The move is seen as a show of solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and a recognition of the country’s efforts to uphold democratic values.
In conclusion, Japan’s pledge of aid and Kishida’s visit to Ukraine underscore the growing relationship between the two countries. Zelensky’s virtual attendance at the G7 summit is also significant as it demonstrates the international community’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. As Ukraine continues to face challenges from Russia, it is important for the country to have the support of its allies and partners.