G7 Ministers Warn Putin of Harsh Consequences To Any Ukraine Attack

G7 Ministers Warn Putin of Harsh Consequences To Any Ukraine Attack

Liverpool, England (dpa) – The foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading industrialized economies issued a stark warning to Russia on Sunday, vowing harsh consequences should it launch an attack on Ukraine.

A possible Russian invasion has alarmed the international community in recent weeks due to a massive build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.

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Moscow is said to have massed between 75,000 and 100,000 soldiers in the region, according to NATO sources, though Russia has repeatedly denied plans to attack Ukraine.

A joint statement by the G7 foreign ministers is expected later on Sunday.

The G7 group, which includes Britain, Germany, France, the United States, Italy, Canada and Japan, previously – as the G8 – included Russia until its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

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Alongside Russia and Ukraine, further issues discussed by the G7 ministers included greater distance from China and concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme.

The ministers called on Tehran to make concessions in order to rescue talks on the country’s nuclear programme.

This was the last chance for Iran to come to the negotiating table with a serious solution, British Foreign Minister Lynn Truss said, vowing that Iran would be prevented from building a nuclear bomb.

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Talks have stalled to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal, which restricted Iran’s nuclear programme in return for the lifting of US sanctions.

Germany’s new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock criticized Iran for delaying the negotiations and for gambling away trust in the process.

The G7 also intended to signal its commitment to freedom and democracy at the conclusion of the meeting, Truss said ahead of the meeting, adding that the group had to “take a stand as a united front against aggressors who seek to undermine freedom.”

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Most of the guests were not able to attend the meeting in person due to the spread of the new and more contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

The summit in Liverpool, in north-west England, is the last G7 meeting due to take place under the British presidency. From 2022, Germany will take over the role.

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Baerbock said that she wanted to make the fight against the climate crisis one of the central topics of the German presidency.

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