Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is attending a G7 summit in Hiroshima, where the bloc has imposed more sanctions on Russia’s “war machine”. The G7 leaders also discussed nuclear disarmament and expressed concerns about China’s growing nuclear weapons stockpile. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is poised for a first post-invasion trip to the Asia-Pacific, meeting allies at a G7 summit in Hiroshima as the bloc hit Russia’s “war machine” with further sanctions.

The previously unannounced visit was revealed by officials Friday — a rare long-haul foray for the war-time president and an opportunity to huddle with leaders of seven wealthy democracies that bankroll his country’s stoic defence.

The trip will give Ukraine’s president an opportunity to win over powerful unaligned nations joining the summit, including Brazil and India.

Zelensky recently embarked on a European tour, pleading for military support like modern US-made fighter jets, as well as tougher sanctions on Russia.

The group’s leaders agreed new sanctions Friday that they said would “starve Russia of G7 technology, industrial equipment and services that support its war machine”.

A G7 statement also pledged to “restrict trade in and use of diamonds mined, processed or produced in Russia”, including with the use of tracing technologies.

The G7 also said they would step up efforts to prevent circumvention of their existing sanctions regime, “including targeting entities transporting material to the front”.

The group held talks Friday evening on nuclear disarmament and warned of Beijing’s rapidly growing nuclear weapons stockpile.

“China’s accelerating build-up of its nuclear arsenal without transparency nor meaningful dialogue poses a concern to global and regional stability,” they said in a statement that also condemned Russia’s “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric”.

G7 leaders began the day visiting Hiroshima’s peace park memorials and museum, where they saw evidence of the suffering and devastation caused by the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.

In a moment heavy with symbolism, they laid wreaths at the Hiroshima cenotaph, which commemorates the estimated 140,000 people killed in the attack and its aftermath.

Marie de La Roche Saint-André, with AFP