Russia: The G-7 warns that it “will never recognize” the borders that Putin wants to impose by force | International

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (third from left) walks with foreign representatives from the G-7 countries during the meeting in Wangels, northern Germany.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (third from left) walks with foreign representatives from the G-7 countries during the meeting in Wangels, northern Germany.KAY NIETFELD (AFP)

Isolate Russia economically and politically and continue to supply Ukraine with weapons so that it can defend itself against Moscow’s aggression “as long as it takes.” The group of the world’s most industrialized countries, the G-7, remains firm in its objectives. Their foreign ministers, meeting this weekend in a castle on the Baltic Sea coast in northern Germany, pledged to support Ukraine “until victory” and made it clear that they will not tolerate the Russian invasion of Ukraine altering the maps of Europe: “We will never recognize the borders that Russia tries to change with its military aggression,” they assured in a joint statement at the end of the meeting.

The G-7 countries stressed that they maintain their commitment to “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea, and of all states” and described as “irresponsible” the threats made by the Kremlin about the possible use of weapons chemical, biological or nuclear. “We reiterate that any use of such weapons would have serious consequences,” the statement said. The partners pledged once again to end dependence on Russian hydrocarbons as soon as possible and to ban oil imports in order to cut off funding for the Russian war machine. The oil veto is being discussed these days in the European Union as the star measure of an upcoming sixth package of sanctions against Moscow.

The representatives of the G-7, convened by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, discussed possible alternatives for the export of cereals from Ukraine that would alleviate the world food shortage caused by the war. Russia keeps the ports from which ships loaded with grain grown in Ukraine depart from. Baerbock explained in a press conference that there have been problems with rail transport through Romania due to the different track gauges of the railways and said that work is being done to export through the Baltic ports. “Every ton that goes out can help a little to alleviate this food crisis,” she noted.

The war keeps 25 million tons of grain stored in the Ukrainian ports, a food that “the world desperately needs”, described the minister. Restricting Ukraine’s agricultural exports has brought as a side effect sharp price increases in food and raw material markets and an increasingly tangible threat to global food security. The G-7 calls on Moscow to “immediately cease its attacks on key transport infrastructure”, including ports, so that Ukrainian agricultural products can be exported again.

The head of the European Union’s foreign policy, Josep Borrell, invited to the meeting held at the Weissenhaus castle, announced on Friday that the bloc will allocate another 500 million euros of military support to Ukraine. This new contribution brings the total sum provided to kyiv to around 2,000 million euros. With the new funds, which still need to be approved by the Twenty-seven, the EU will buy heavy weapons, such as tanks and artillery, Borrell told reporters. The high representative added that he trusts that the agreement to approve an embargo on Russian oil will arrive in a matter of days. Hungary has been blocking the sixth sanctions package due to its heavy reliance on Russian crude.

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“This is not our war, it is not the war of the international community; it is the war of the Russian president, but we have a global responsibility”, said Annalena Baerbock at the end of the meeting. Now is the time, he added, for the G-7 countries to ask themselves if they are willing to accept the breach of international rules and to decide “how to defend a world of freedom, peaceful coexistence and human prosperity, which until now has seemed so natural in the global North.” Baerbock recalled that it is not only the Ukrainians who are fighting for their survival and freedom, but that “the European peace order” is at stake. “It is we, as the G-7, who have a role to play,” she added.

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