G7 Leaders Pledge 'Severe Cost' in Event of Russian 'Military Aggression' in Ukraine
Concerns about Russia's "military build-up" in the vicinity of the Ukrainian border continue to arise, with Moscow repeatedly underscoring that it has no plans to attack anyone. Russian President Vladimir Putin told his US counterpart Joe Biden that Russian troops are located within the country's territory and pose no threat.
Ministers of the G7 countries have vowed "massive consequences" and a "severe cost" in the event of Russian "military aggression" against Ukraine, according to a Sunday statement from the group.
"We call on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and abide by its international commitments on transparency of military activities as President Biden did in his call with President Putin on 7 December", the statement read. "We reconfirm our support for the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to achieve full implementation of the Minsk Agreements in order to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine".
The G7 ministers also underlined that "any use of force to change borders is strictly prohibited under international law". They also proceeded to "reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
The statement comes amid Moscow's condemnation of the "Russian aggression" narrative. Particularly, earlier on Saturday the Russian Embassy in London criticised the UK's frequent references to alleged aggression by Moscow, saying it only ramps up Russophobia.
"Russia has made numerous offers to NATO on ways to decrease tensions", the embassy said. "The G7 forum could be an opportunity to discuss them, but so far we hear nothing but aggressive slogans".
Over the weekend, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov offered his take on the Tuesday video call between Russia's Vladimir Putin and the US' Joe Biden, revealing that Putin had told his counterpart that Russian troops are stationed within Russia's own borders, and do not pose a threat to anyone.
Besides, the importance of addressing the concept of "red lines" was underscored once again. Moscow has numerous times said that it deems NATO's expansion eastward unacceptable, along with the West deploying offensive weapons in Ukraine or any other country neighbouring Russia. According to Peskov, Russia and the United States face "very serious disagreements" in regard to the "red lines" concept.
Still, the two presidents held a "respectful" conversation and discussed a broad range of acute issues, according to the Kremlin. Per Peskov, Putin told Biden that he would like to meet again.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|