The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will attend the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan in person, in a move that is expected to strengthen the resolve of the G7 and NATO to continue supplying weapons. The G7 is seeking to increase pressure on Russia to end its war in Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s attendance at the summit in Hiroshima is an unexpected development, as the Japanese government had previously stated that he would only attend via video link. However, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, confirmed on national television that Zelenskyy would attend the summit in person. The Ukrainian president’s physical presence is seen as crucial to defending Ukraine’s interests and ensuring that important matters are decided.
Zelenskyy’s attendance at the G7 summit is expected to lend weight to efforts to pressure Russia. The G7 is seeking to convey a united front as it weighs new punitive measures to punish Moscow for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has now been ongoing for 450 days. The G7 leaders are expected to announce new coordinated measures targeting Russia’s economy, although there are reportedly divisions among members about how far sanctions should go.
Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on the international community to increase its support for Kyiv and take stronger action to punish Moscow for its invasion of his country. Last week, he secured new weapons commitments during a whistle-stop tour of Berlin, Paris, and London. Zelenskyy will also be looking to meet with his South Korean and Australian counterparts at the summit, to push for additional military supplies.
On Friday, a senior official with the administration of US President Joe Biden said Washington will roll out 300 new sanctions targeting 70 Russian entities and place more countries on a US blacklist. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also announced that the UK will ban imports of Russian diamonds, copper, aluminium, and nickel, and sanction 86 people and companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.