G7 threatens Russian sanctions breakers with ‘heavy costs’
WASHINGTON – Leaders of the G7, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met for a virtual summit on Friday and issued a stern warning to countries helping Russia to evade international sanctions.
At the meeting, hosted by current G7 leader Japan, member states stressed their determination to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began exactly a year ago, and warned Moscow against the use of nuclear weapons.
“We call on third countries or other international actors trying to circumvent or undermine our actions to stop providing material support to Russia’s war, or at great cost,” the Group of Seven leaders said in a joint statement.
“In order to prevent these activities around the world, we are taking action against third-country actors who provide material support to Russia’s war in Ukraine,” it said.
“We commit to stepping up our diplomatic, financial and military support to Ukraine (and) increasing costs to Russia and those supporting its war effort.”
No nation was singled out in the statement, despite Russia having deployed Iranian drones in Ukraine and Washington recently warning that Beijing is considering supplying Moscow’s war effort. China has denied these claims.
Ahead of the meeting, the United States announced a new $2 billion arms pledge for Ukraine and sweeping measures to tighten sanctions on Russia, as well as new sanctions aimed at crippling Russia’s war machine.
Zelensky attended the summit and Japan is reportedly considering inviting him to an in-person G7 summit in Hiroshima in May.
“As for the decision on which countries and organizations to invite to the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May, we will make the decision as G7 presidency after consultations with the relevant countries,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Japan announced this week that it would offer Ukraine $5.5 billion in new financial assistance.
Not only has the nation joined Western powers in imposing sanctions on Moscow, but it has already provided Ukraine with $600 million worth of financial assistance and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of emergency humanitarian aid.
Japan has also taken the rare steps of sending defense equipment and providing sanctuary to those fleeing the conflict.
However, it has not offered military support because the country’s post-war constitution limits its military capacity to supposedly defensive measures.
The G7 statement added: “We reiterate that Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable and any use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons by Russia would have serious consequences.
“We express our gravest concern at the continued Russian occupation and control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.”
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Source: Crypto News Deutsch