Zelensky to make surprise G7 summit visit
Volodymyr Zelensky is planning to join the G7 summit in Japan, reports say, in a bid to secure strengthened support ahead of a planned counter-offensive in the Ukraine war.
The Ukrainian president is expected to arrive in Hiroshima on Sunday, although his office has not confirmed the visit.
On Friday, Mr Zelensky flew to Saudi Arabia to meet leaders of Arab nations.
The G7 summit kicked off on Friday with a renewed condemnation of Russia and an announcement of further sanctions.
The group of seven nations, made up of the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan, represent the world’s richest democracies. This year, eight other countries, including Australia and India, have also been invited.
Mr Zelensky had been slated to appear at the summit by video link, but speculation has been rife that he or his wife, who recently visited South Korea, would attend in person.
The trip will be the furthest he has travelled from Kyiv since the war began in February 2022, and like other trips outside of Ukraine it could pose a potential risk to his safety.
But the calculation is that the risk is worth taking if it means securing even more help in his fight against Russia.
“When a person is somewhere far away, across the ocean, somewhere else, they do not always feel and understand what is happening on the territory of our country.
“It is the physical presence of our president that is extremely important at such events,” said Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s powerful National Security and Defence Council.
Several news agencies have reported that Mr Zelensky will travel to the summit, although it has not been officially confirmed.
In the past few days, Mr Zelensky has visited Italy, Germany, France and the UK, where he nailed down promises of military support.