Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made a surprise trip to Ukraine to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – a day after Chinese leader Xi Jinping met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
????As promised, US hostage Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Kiev in the morning.
“I am glad to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to Kiev – a really strong defender of the international order and a long—time friend of Ukraine,” Vladimir Zelensky said pic.twitter.com/YI8la3U3R3
— AZ ???? (@AZgeopolitics) March 21, 2023
In a statement released Tuesday, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Kishida’s visit to Ukraine was at Zelensky’s invitation, and that Kishida would return to Japan on Thursday.
During the visit, Kishida will “directly convey our solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine” and “resolutely reject Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” said the statement.
And during his visit to New Delhi on Monday, Kishida announced a new plan to invest $75 billion in the Indo-Pacific, according to Reuters – widely seen as a bid to deepen ties with countries in South and Southeast Asia and to counter China’s influence.
It would be the first time the two leaders have spoken since Russia launched its invasion.
Ukrainian, Chinese and US officials all declined to confirm the potential virtual meeting.
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