G7 asks Russia to withdraw troops and opt for diplomacy

The G7 foreign ministers expressed “grave concern” about Russia’s increased military presence on the borders with Ukraine, Belarus and Crimea and urged Russia to choose a diplomatic path to resolve the crisis.

Representatives of the group that brings together Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and Britain met Saturday (19), in Germany, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

The G7 called on “Moscow to choose the path of diplomacy” and “substantially withdraw military forces from Ukraine’s borders and fully respect international commitments”, excerpts from the final document read.

The ministers warned that “any further military aggression against Ukraine will have grave consequences, including financial and economic sanctions coordinated across various sectoral and individual objectives”.

“As a first step, we expect Russia to implement the announced reductions from its military activities along the Ukrainian border. We have not seen any evidence of these reductions,” the statement added, stressing that Russia would be judged based on its actions.

The G7 made clear its commitment to Vladimir Putin’s government to continue dialogue on issues of common interest, such as European security, risk reduction, transparency, trust building and arms control.

Furthermore, the foreign ministers reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters, and reaffirmed the sovereign state’s right to determine its own future and security arrangements.

For the G7, “full implementation of the Minsk agreement is the only path to a lasting political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“The ministers acknowledged President Zelensky’s public statements, which underlined Ukraine’s strong commitment to the Minsk accord and its willingness to contribute constructively,” the text concluded, noting that “the Ukraine proposal deserves serious consideration by Russia.”

Jackson Wintringham

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