G-7 warns Russia of ‘huge consequences’ if it attacks Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with US President Joe Biden at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland June 16, 2021.


The Group of Seven warned Russia on Sunday of huge consequences and dire costs if the President Vladimir Putin attack Ukraine, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

US intelligence estimates that Russia may be planning a multiple frontal attack on Ukraine as early as next year, with the participation of 175,000 troops.

The Kremlin denies the invasion plan and says the West is suffering from a fear of Russia. Moscow says NATO expansion threatens Russia and contrasts with assurances made when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

At a meeting in the northern English city of Liverpool, G-7 delegates said they were united in condemning Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine and they called on Moscow to de-escalate.

“Russia should have no doubt that continuing military aggression against Ukraine will have enormous consequences and come at a heavy price,” the draft statement confirmed by G-7 sources.

“We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the right of any sovereign state to determine its own future,” the draft reads.

For Moscow, NATO’s rise to a former Soviet republic – and what NATO sees as the nightmarish ability of coalition missiles in Ukraine to target Russia – is a “red line” that they will not be allowed to pass.

Putin has asked for a legally binding security guarantee that NATO will not expand further eastward or place weapons near Russian territory; Washington has repeatedly stated that no country can veto NATO’s hopes.

In 2014, Russia seized the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea from Ukraine, prompting the West to impose sanctions on Russia.

The Kremlin on Sunday said Mr Putin told the US President Joe Biden that the Russian military poses no threat and that Moscow is viewed as evil by moving troops around its territory.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there is a very serious difference in the concept between Russia and the US about Moscow’s “red lines”.

The G-7 includes Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States, and includes a representative from the European Union.

“We call on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels and adhere to international commitments on the transparency of military operations,” the G-7 said in the draft.

“We reaffirm our support for the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to achieve the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements for the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine”, the draft said.


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