The G7 countries remain committed to the sanctions regime against Russia and consider it “critical” for Moscow to withdraw all troops from the borders with Ukraine.
This is stated in the final communique adopted following the meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers in London.
The document, which was published on the website of the EU’s foreign policy service, placed Russia at the top of the list of global security issues that were discussed for three days by the ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, France, Japan and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs.
“We are deeply concerned about Russia’s continuing irresponsible and destabilizing behavior, which includes a significant concentration of forces on the borders with Ukraine and in the illegally annexed Crimea, actions to undermine democratic systems in other countries, malicious cyber activity and disinformation,” the document says.
The G7 ministers emphasize their “complete solidarity” with the countries affected by the Russian special services and warn that they do not intend to put up with such actions.
They also reiterate their position on the case of Alexei Navalny, whose arrest and sentence are considered “politically motivated”, and call on Russia to “immediately investigate” the use of chemical weapons with which the oppositionist was poisoned.
“We emphasize our interest in a stable and predictable relationship with Russia. Nonetheless, we will build our collective capacity to respond and deter Russian behavior that threatens a rules-based world order, including cyberspace and disinformation, ”the communiqué said.
G7 ministers “emphasize support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and internationally recognized borders and territorial waters”, “unconditionally reject the temporary occupation of Crimea” and “express deep concern” over the Kremlin’s decision to block access to a number of areas of the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait.
“It is critically important for Moscow to completely withdraw its troops and take the necessary measures to reduce tensions. We remain fully committed to the application of sanctions and reaffirm that the duration of the sanctions is linked to the full implementation of Russia’s obligations under the Minsk Agreements and the return of Crimea to Ukraine,” the communiqué said.
Recall that the Minsk agreements require Moscow to transfer control over the border in the Donbass region to Kiev and thereby refuse to supply the unrecognized self-proclaimed republics.
Any possible sanctions, as well as attacks against the Russian leadership will not go unanswered, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, commenting on the outcome of the G7 meeting.
“The fact that the European Union has declared the illegitimacy and absence of an international legal basis for our actions means only one thing: the European Union believes that everything is permissible for it. When the European Union begins to threaten us with new sanctions, I begin to think that in addition to the feeling of permissiveness and infallibility, the European Union is beginning to be overwhelmed by another mania – I mean complete impunity. It seems to me that this is a dead-end path, “Interfax quotes Lavrov.