G7 warns Russia of “enormous consequences” over Ukraine

G7 warns Russia of “enormous consequences” over Ukraine




Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

  • Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations warned Russia to de-escalate its activities around Ukraine or confront “enormous consequences”.
  • The ministers said they were “united in our condemnation of Russia’s military build-up and aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine”.
  • The United States warned for weeks that Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn up plans for an invasion that could take place in early 2022.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations (G7) on Sunday warned Russia to de-escalate its activities around Ukraine or confront “enormous consequences”.

In a joint statement, the ministers said they were “united in our condemnation of Russia’s military build-up and aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine”.

“We call on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and to comply with its international commitments on transparency of military activities,” the ministers said in the statement, which followed meetings in Liverpool, England, hosted by United Kingdom foreign secretary Liz Truss.

With increasing numbers of troops and military equipment deployed near Ukraine’s border, the US warned for weeks that Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn up plans for an invasion that could take place in early 2022. Putin has denied any intention to move into. 

The United States has told Russia’s leader that his country will confront enormous economic repercussions if he moves against Ukraine, though Japan is likely to insist that Sunday’s G7 statement remains comparatively careful, the people said. 

While the US administration hasn’t publicly laid out the possible costs to Russia, they could be implemented quickly if necessary, according to a US State Department official, who discussed the closed-door talks on condition of anonymity.

Putin and US President Joe Biden spoke on a two-hour video call last week, in which the Russian said he’d be prepared for an in-person meeting, according to footage shown on the Rossiya-1 TV channel on Sunday.

Russia’s deployment of troops and military equipment on Ukraine’s border have pushed revived fears of war to the top of the G7’s agenda. 

Biden on Saturday warned Russia of “devastating” economic penalties if it attacks Ukraine and said more US and NATO troops would be sent to defend allies. Separately, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen spoke with her German style on Friday to discuss steps that could “impose harsh costs on Russia’s economy” if needed. 

The US official expressed confidence that a general group of countries, including other G7 nations, would join in imposing costs if Russia attacks Ukraine. 

US secretary of state Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who met on the margins of the G7 conference, renewed their sustain for Ukraine’s sovereignty and called on Russia to “reduce tensions and return to diplomacy”, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Saturday. 

G7 members agree that changing European borders by force would have “enormous political and economic consequences”, Annalena Baerbock, appointed last week as Germany’s first female foreign minister, said in comments broadcast on ARD television.

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