Ukraine President Zelensky Arrives in Japan for G-7

May 20, 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima, Japan Saturday (Sunday local time) to meet with the Group of Seven (G-7) leaders at this year’s summit.

“Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Security and enhanced cooperation for our victory. Peace will become closer today,” Zelensky tweeted at 2:50am ET. 

A red carpet had been rolled out at the airport in Hiroshima for Zelensky’s arrival. After stepping off a French plane, Zelensky was hurried away in a black sedan.

In a statement released after closed-door meetings the day before, the G-7 leaders—from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.—vowed to tighten punishments against Russia for its 15 month-long invasion of its sovereign neighbor.

“Our support for Ukraine will not waver,” the statement said, adding that the countries vowed “to stand together against Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The group unveiled a new round of sanctions against Moscow, and aimed to redouble efforts to enforce existing sanctions. 

Among the new sanctions, the Britain is banning imports to the UK from Russia’s multi-billion dollar diamond industry. The UK also planned to target  target 86 more people and companies connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including individuals who have been “actively undermining the impact of existing sanctions.”

Following Zelensky’s arrival to the G-7, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted a photo of himself greeting Zelensky at the G-7—the two leaders’ second face-to-face meeting  in less than a week. 

“Ukraine, we’re not going anywhere,” said Sunak in the tweet.

The U.S., meanwhile, announced it would blacklist about 70 Russians and third-country entities involved in Russia’s defense production. More than 300 individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels will be sanctioned by the U.S.

Zelensky’s arrival at the G-7 also occurred one day after President Biden, who had previously dug in his heels, said he will support a joint effort to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s fighter jets.

While he U.S. remains reluctant to send any of its own F-16s to Kyiv, the White House is reportedly prepared to approve the export of the jets to Ukraine from allies’ own supplies. 

PHOTO: @RishiSunak

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