President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is scheduled to appear in person at the Group of 7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend, a Ukrainian official said, making an audacious trip halfway across the world as he tries to win commitments for continued arms and aid from the world’s wealthiest democracies.
It was not clear when Mr. Zelensky would arrive in Japan. Details of his travel have been kept vague and closely guarded for security reasons. But the leaders gathered in Hiroshima — who include President Biden and his counterparts from Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Italy — will be talking over the next three days about all dimensions of Russia’s war in Ukraine. They will likely discuss sanctions enforcement, whether to provide F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv and the possibility of negotiations over an armistice or peace treaty.
Oleksii Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s national defense council, announced Mr. Zelensky’s trip on national television following news reports of his attendance.
“Very important things will be done there, therefore the physical presence of our president is important in order to defend our interests,” Mr. Danilov said. “To provide clear proposals and clear arguments regarding the events taking place on the territory of our country.”
In the past week, Mr. Zelensky has visited Britain and other European nations. He is willing to travel outside Kyiv in part to demonstrate that he has confidence in the stability of his own government. There have been no known efforts by the Russians to interfere with his travels.
If Mr. Zelensky arrives in Hiroshima as expected, he will almost certainly have a one-on-one meeting with Mr. Biden. The leaders of India, Brazil and other nations that have been reluctant to support Ukraine are also at the meeting, as observers, and Mr. Zelensky’s presence could make it more difficult for them to maintain that stance, several officials said.
News of Mr. Zelensky’s expected trip to Japan was reported earlier by The Financial Times and other news outlets. The Ukrainian and Japanese news media had previously suggested that he would join the G7 summit virtually.
With its impending counteroffensive against Russian forces, Ukraine hopes to turn the tide of a conflict that in recent months has settled into a grinding, draining battle with little movement. Mr. Zelensky will be making his plea against the backdrop of a city that stands as a stark reminder of the catastrophic costs of war.
“We have a task to maintain the momentum of international support and communication for Ukraine,” Mr. Zelensky said in his nightly address on Thursday. “I am confident that we will accomplish this task.”