Ukraine to Join meeting of Japan, ROK, Australia, New Zealand on Sidelines of NATO Gathering in Washington

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a news briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Arrangements are being made for Ukraine to participate in the meeting of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, which is scheduled to be held Thursday on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization gathering in Washington. It will be the first such occasion for the leaders of the five countries to meet for talks.

The NATO summit is slated to kick off Tuesday.

Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand — known as the Indo-Pacific Partners (IP4) — have been invited to NATO summit since 2022. Taking up the opportunity, Ukraine has requested a meeting with the leaders of the four nations, according to several Japanese government sources.

Among the attendees are Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. The leaders are expected to agree on continued support for Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing aggression.

The leaders of NATO and IP4 are expected to confirm the strengthening of cooperation in four fields: Support for Ukraine, countermeasures against disinformation, cyber affairs and emerging technologies.

Japan and NATO are expected to agree to hold the first international conference in Tokyo on strategic communications, including countermeasures against false information.

With growing concerns over the spread of disinformation and the manipulation of public opinion by China and Russia, an envisaged Japan-NATO Tokyo conference will likely address measures to tackle these issues among others.

A senior U.S. government official told reporters on Friday that the summit of NATO and IP4 will raise the issue of China’s support for the defense industrial base of Russia. The official also said the meeting will use “strong language” to address these issues.

Arrangements are also being made for U.S. President Joe Biden who will chair the NATO summit to have talks with the IP4 nations, as well as a separate meeting with Zelenskyy.